Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Wikipedia.


1. Determined, influenced, or controlled by something else.
2. Grammar Subordinate to another clause, phrase, or word.
3. Relying on or requiring the aid or support of another: adult children who are still dependent on their parents.
4. Needing to continue use of a drug or other substance or engagement in a specific activity in order to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms: dependent on alcohol.
5. Archaic Hanging down.
also de·pen·dant One who relies on another, especially for financial support.

de·pen′dent·ly adv.
Synonyms: dependent, conditional, contingent, subject
These adjectives mean determined by something else: a water supply dependent on rainfall; conditional acceptance of the apology; assistance contingent on need; promotion subject to merit.


a person who depends on another person, organization, etc, for support, aid, or sustenance, esp financial support
Usage: Avoid confusion with Avoid confusion of dependant with dependent


1. used as an adjective

If you are dependent on someone or something, you need them in order to survive.

At first, a patient may feel very dependent on the nurses.
...those who are entirely dependent for their welfare on the public services.
All competitively priced newspapers became dependent on advertising.
2. used as a noun

In British English, your dependants are the people who you support financially, such as your children.

...shorter or more flexible working hours for people with dependants.

In American English, this noun is usually spelled dependent.

Employees and their dependents are seeking help in greater numbers.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.dependant - a person who relies on another person for support (especially financial support)
recipient, receiver - a person who receives something
charge - a person committed to your care; "the teacher led her charges across the street"
minion - a servile or fawning dependant
Adj.1.dependant - contingent on something else
conditional - imposing or depending on or containing a condition; "conditional acceptance of the terms"; "lent conditional support"; "the conditional sale will not be complete until the full purchase price is paid"
2.dependant - addicted to a drug
addicted - compulsively or physiologically dependent on something habit-forming; "she is addicted to chocolate"; "addicted to cocaine"


noun relative, child, minor, subordinate, cohort (chiefly U.S.), protégé, henchman, retainer, hanger-on, minion, vassal They raise funds to help ex-service personnel and their dependants.
Usage: Dependant is the generally accepted correct spelling in British usage for the noun and always refers to people: if you are single and have no dependants. The adjective should be spelt dependent: tax allowance for dependent (not dependant) children. American usage spells both adjective and noun with an e in the last syllable.


1. Determined or to be determined by someone or something else:
2. In a position of subordination:
A person who relies on another for support:
مُعْتَمِد، تابِع
rodinný příslušníkzávislá osoba
rodinný príslušník
bakmakla yükümlü olunan kimse


[dɪˈpendənt] N persona a cargo de algn
I have no dependantsno tengo cargas familiares
how many dependants does he have?¿cuántas personas tiene a su cargo?


[dɪˈpɛndənt] npersonne f à charge


, dependent
nAbhängige(r) mf; do you have dependants?haben Sie (abhängige) Angehörige?


[dɪˈpɛndənt] npersona a carico


(diˈpend) verb
(with on).
1. to rely on. You can't depend on his arriving on time.
2. to rely on receiving necessary (financial) support from. The school depends for its survival on money from the Church.
3. (of a future happening etc) to be decided by. Our success depends on everyone working hard.
deˈpendable adjective
(negative undependable) trustworthy or reliable. I know he'll remember to get the wine – he's very dependable.
deˈpendant noun
a person who is kept or supported by another. He has five dependants to support – a wife and four children.
deˈpendent adjective
1. relying on (someone etc) for (financial) support. He is totally dependent on his parents.
2. (of a future happening etc) to be decided by. Whether we go or not is dependent on whether we have enough money.
it/that depends, it all depends
what happens, is decided etc, will be affected by something else. I don't know if I'll go to the party – it all depends.

to look after one's dependants (not dependents).
to be dependent (not dependant) on one's parents.
References in classic literature ?
The spirit of clanship which was, at an early day, introduced into that kingdom, uniting the nobles and their dependants by ties equivalent to those of kindred, rendered the aristocracy a constant overmatch for the power of the monarch, till the incorporation with England subdued its fierce and ungovernable spirit, and reduced it within those rules of subordination which a more rational and more energetic system of civil polity had previously established in the latter kingdom.
By the aid of cunning architects he had first blasted his harbour into shape, then built his hotels and pleasure-palaces, and then leased them to dependants of his who knew the right sort of people, and who knew that it was as much as their lease was worth to find accommodation for teetotal amateur photographers or wistful wandering Sunday-school treats.
Diana and Mary were soon to leave Moor House, and return to the far different life and scene which awaited them, as governesses in a large, fashionable, south-of-England city, where each held a situation in families by whose wealthy and haughty members they were regarded only as humble dependants, and who neither knew nor sought out their innate excellences, and appreciated only their acquired accomplishments as they appreciated the skill of their cook or the taste of their waiting-woman.
Other attendants there were of a different description; two or three large and shaggy greyhounds, such as were then employed in hunting the stag and wolf; as many slow-hounds of a large bony breed, with thick necks, large beads, and long ears; and one or two of the smaller dogs, now called terriers, which waited with impatience the arrival of the supper; but, with the sagacious knowledge of physiognomy peculiar to their race, forbore to intrude upon the moody silence of their master, apprehensive probably of a small white truncheon which lay by Cedric's trencher, for the purpose of repelling the advances of his four-legged dependants.