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[ri-lahy] /rɪˈlaɪ/
verb (used without object), relied, relying.
to depend confidently; put trust in (usually followed by on or upon):
You can rely on her work.
Origin of rely
1300-50; Middle English relien < Middle French relier < Latin religāre to bind fast, hold firmly. See re-, ligament
Related forms
misrely, verb (used without object), misrelied, misrelying.
trust, count, bank. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for relies
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All our knowledge, for instance, relies upon our sonship; it starts with an act of faith.

    Lux Mundi Various
  • He spurns faith and relies too much on his own observation and reasoning.

    The Buddha Paul Carus
  • Finally, he relies too much upon sarcasm and personal invective as agents.

  • He who relies on his acts of piety is worse than he who commits sin.

  • Haste has a single compass upon which it relies for direction and in harmony with which its course is determined.

    The Majesty of Calmness William George Jordan
British Dictionary definitions for relies


verb (intransitive; foll by on or upon) -lies, -lying, -lied
to be dependent (on): he relies on his charm
to have trust or confidence (in): you can rely on us
Word Origin
C14: from Old French relier to fasten together, repair, from Latin religāre to tie back, from re- + ligāre to tie
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 relies



early 14c., "to gather, assemble" (transitive and intransitive), from Old French relier "assemble, put together; fasten, attach, rally, oblige," from Latin religare "fasten, bind fast," from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + ligare "to bind" (see ligament). Sense of "depend, trust" is from 1570s, perhaps via notion of "rally to, fall back on." Typically used with on, perhaps by influence of lie (v.2). Related: Relied; relying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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