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The word depend is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

Definition of the verb depend

What does depend mean as a doing word?

Depend is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: depended | depending | depends

  1. be contingent upon (something that is elided)
    • example: That depends
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • more generic word: be = have the quality of being
    • more specific terms: hang by a thread / hang by a hair = depend on a small thing or be at risk
  2. have faith or confidence in
    • example: Depend on your family in times of crisis
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] on [Theme, noun phrase with -ing]She relies on him coming back in time
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] on [Theme, noun phrase with infinitive]She relies on him to help
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] on [Theme, possessive with -ing]She relies on his helping
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] on [Theme, subject control with -ing]She relies on coming back in time
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] on [Theme, not sentential clause]She relies on it

      Rely Verbs (with the same syntax): bank, bargain, bet, count, figure, gamble, reckon, rely, take a chance, wager.

    • lexical domain: Cognition - verbs of thinking, judging, analyzing, doubting
    • synonyms of depend: bank / bet / calculate / count / look / reckon / rely / swear
    • more generic word: trust = have confidence or faith in

Alternative definition of the verb depend


  1. [context: now literary] To hang down; to be sustained by being fastened or attached to something above.
  2. To hang in suspense; to be pending; to be undetermined or undecided; as, a cause depending in court.
  3. To rely on for support; to be conditioned or contingent; to be connected with anything, as a cause of existence, or as a necessary condition; — followed by on or upon, formerly by of.
  4. To trust; to rest with confidence; to rely; to confide; to be certain; — with on or upon; as, we depend on the word or assurance of our friends; we depend on the mail at the usual hour.
  5. To serve; to attend; to act as a dependent or retainer.


Depend is a brand of absorbent, disposable underwear for adults experiencing urinary or fecal incontinence. It is made by Kimberly-Clark. The product was first introduced in 1984. It is the dominant brand of disposable incontinence garments in the United States, with a 30.8 share of the market. .

Phrases with Depend

  1. depend on
  2. depend upon
  3. to depend

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Depend

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewReynard the Fox (2000)

Cultural Metamorphoses and Social Engagement in the Beast Epic from the Middle Ages to the Present by Kenneth Varty

The all-important mechanism on which this motif and much of the ensuing comedy depend is a pulley suspended above the well - a pulley around which runs a rope with a bucket attached to either end so that, as one bucket descends to the ...

Google previewBehavioral Measures of Neurotoxicity (1990)

by U.S. National Committee for the International Union of Psychological Science, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

A premise on which the concepts of terminal threshold and of behavioral plasticity depend is that some low magnitude of exposure exists for all chemical substances which will not produce an effect no matter how long the exposure. Coupled ...

Google previewFormal Models of Domestic Politics (2013)

by Scott Gehlbach

The transition among states follows a particularly simple Markov process, in which the only action on which the transition probabilities depend is the decision of the poor to initiate a revolution or not.

Google previewEncyclopaedia Perthensis, Or, Universal Dictionary of the Arts, Sciences, Literature, Etc. : Intended to Supersede the Use of Other Books of Reference (1816)

* To DEPEND. m.s. (doendo, Lat.) 1. To hang from. – From gilded roofs depending lamps display Noćturnal beams, that emulate ...

Google previewA Valency Dictionary of English (2004)

A Corpus-Based Analysis of the Complementation Patterns of English Verbs, Nouns and Adjectives by Thomas Herbst, David Heath, Ian F. Roe, Dieter Götz

Depend generally indicates a close link between two people, things, ideas or events: SomethingI that depends on someone or something H is affected or determined by it. —+ M D1 D2 03 {ii} on another person" for something they need "! relies ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Depend

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Usage statistics about depend

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb depend:


Photos about Depend

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Photo credit: hwanation

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Small photo of DEPEND word made with building blocks More...

Video about Depend

Depend Meaning

Video shows what depend means. To hang down; to be sustained by being fastened or attached to something above.. To hang in suspense; to be pending; to be ...

View more videos about Depend on and depend upon.

See also the pronunciation examples of Depend!

Quotes about Depend

It is more true to say that our opinions depend upon our lives and habits, than to say that our lives and habits depend on our opinions. (Frederick William Robertson)
more quotes about depend...

Scrabble value of D2E1P3E1N1D2

The value of this 6-letter word is 10 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of DEPEND

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