9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dih-pen-duh nt] /dɪˈpɛn dənt/
relying on someone or something else for aid, support, etc.
conditioned or determined by something else; contingent:
Our trip is dependent on the weather.
subordinate; subject:
a dependent territory.
Grammar. not used in isolation; used only in connection with other forms. In I walked out when the bell rang, when the bell rang is a dependent clause.
Compare independent (def 14), main1 (def 4).
hanging down; pendent.
  1. (of a variable) having values determined by one or more independent variables.
  2. (of an equation) having solutions that are identical to those of another equation or to those of a set of equations.
Statistics. (of an event or a value) not statistically independent.
a person who depends on or needs someone or something for aid, support, favor, etc.
a child, spouse, parent, or certain other relative to whom one contributes all or a major amount of necessary financial support:
She listed two dependents on her income-tax form.
Archaic. a subordinate part.
Also, dependant.
Origin of dependent
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English dependaunt. See depend, -ent
Related forms
dependently, adverb
overdependent, adjective
predependent, adjective
quasi-dependent, adjective
quasi-dependently, adverb
self-dependent, adjective
self-dependently, adverb
semidependent, adjective
semidependently, adverb
undependent, adjective
Can be confused
dependant, dependent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dependent
  • Physically small and weak, economically dependent upon others, they cannot control their environment.
  • America's economy is still dangerously dependent on its financially overstretched consumers.
  • The book's premise is that gods and humans are mutually dependent on one another and shaped by one another's ambitions and feuds.
  • Q: My child is no longer a dependent on my tax return.
  • When you are looking at moving to a new home make sure you are not going to be completely car dependent.
  • Many of these plants are dependent on the bat for reproduction.
  • It turns out that a few tasks were dependent on earlier stages.
  • She also recalls the present-day life of her aging, increasingly dependent mother.
  • No single official, department, or even ministry bears overall responsibility for the dependent territories.
  • Northern prosperity was widely regarded as heavily dependent on its merchant marine.
British Dictionary definitions for dependent


depending on a person or thing for aid, support, life, etc
(postpositive; foll by on or upon) influenced or conditioned (by); contingent (on)
subordinate; subject: a dependent prince
(obsolete) hanging down
  1. (of a variable) having a value depending on that assumed by a related independent variable
  2. (of a linear equation) having every solution as a solution of one or more given linear equations
(grammar) an element in a phrase or clause that is not the governor
a variant spelling (esp US) of dependant
Derived Forms
dependently, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dependent

15c., variant spelling of dependant, now mostly restricted to adjectival use; see -ance. Dependent variable in mathematics is recorded from 1852.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dependent in Medicine

dependent de·pend·ent (dĭ-pěn'dənt)

  1. Contingent on or subordinate to another.

  2. Relying on or requiring the aid of another for support.

  3. Hanging down.

One who relies on another especially for financial support.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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