- When you decide what to wear based on the weather, this is an example of a situation where your clothing depends on the weather.
- When you rely on your mother to pick you up from school, this is an example of a situation where you depend on your mother for a ride.
To depend is defined as to be influenced by or to rely on.
- to be influenced or determined by something else; be contingent (on)
- to have trust; rely (on)
- to rely (on) for support or aid
- Rare to hang down
- Law to be undecided or pending
Origin of dependMiddle English dependen ; from Old French dependre ; from Classical Latin dependere, to hang down from ; from de-, down + pendere, to hang: see pendant
verbde·pend·ed, de·pend·ing, de·pends
- To rely, especially for support or maintenance: Children must depend on their parents.
- To place trust or confidence: You can depend on his honesty. See Synonyms at rely.
- To be determined, influenced, or contingent: a grade depending on the results of the final exam.
- To have a dependence: began to depend more and more on drugs.
- Archaic To hang down: “And ever-living Lamps depend in Rows” (Alexander Pope).
verb, transitive Informal
To be determined by, be influenced by, or be contingent on: “What happened?” “It depends who you ask.”
Origin of dependMiddle English dependen, to hang down, from Old French dependre, from Latin dēpendēre : dē-, de- + pendēre, to hang; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots. Usage Note: In standard writing, depend is followed by on or upon when indicating condition or contingency, as in It depends on who is in charge. Omission of the preposition is typical of casual speech.
(third-person singular simple present depends, present participle depending, simple past and past participle depended)
- (now literary) To hang down; to be sustained by being fastened or attached to something above.
- To hang in suspense; to be pending; to be undetermined or undecided; as, a cause depending in court.
- 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.
- 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.
- To serve; to attend; to act as a dependent or retainer.
OriginSee also: dépend
From Middle French dependre, from de- + pendre (“to hang”).