, early 15c. (adj.); of persons, from 1580s, from Fr. dépendant
(adj. and noun), properly prp. of dépendre
"to hang down," also "to depend," from L. dependentem
). As with its relative dependence
, the Latin-influenced variant (in this case dependent
) co-existed through 18c., but with this word the French spelling has proven more durable in English, possibly because it has been found convenient to keep both, one (dependant
) for the noun, the other (dependent
) for the adjective.