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Related to depend: depend upon


v. de·pend·ed, de·pend·ing, de·pends
1. To rely, especially for support or maintenance: Children must depend on their parents.
2. To place trust or confidence: You can depend on his honesty. See Synonyms at rely.
3. To be determined, influenced, or contingent: a grade depending on the results of the final exam.
4. To have a dependence: began to depend more and more on drugs.
5. Archaic To hang down: "And ever-living Lamps depend in Rows" (Alexander Pope). Informal
To be determined by, be influenced by, or be contingent on: "What happened?" "It depends who you ask."

[Middle 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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


vb (intr)
1. (foll by: on or upon) to put trust (in); rely (on); be sure (of)
2. (usually foll by: on or upon; often with it as subject) to be influenced or determined (by); be resultant (from): whether you come or not depends on what father says; it all depends on you.
3. (Economics) (foll by: on or upon) to rely (on) for income, support, etc
4. (foll by from) rare to hang down; be suspended
5. to be undecided or pending
[C15: from Old French dependre, from Latin dēpendēre to hang from, from de- + pendēre to hang]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. to rely; place trust (usu. fol. by on or upon): You may depend on our tact.
2. to rely for support or help (usu. fol. by on or upon).
3. to be conditioned or contingent (usu. fol. by on or upon): Our plans depend on the weather.
4. to be undetermined or pending.
5. (of a linguistic form) to be subordinate to another linguistic form in the same construction.
6. to hang down; be suspended (usu. fol. by from).
[1375–1425; late Middle English < Old French dependre « Latin dēpendēre to hang down =dē- de- + pendēre to hang]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'depend on'

If you depend on someone or something or depend upon them, you need them in order to survive.

At college Julie seemed to depend on Simon more and more.
Uruguay's economy has depended heavily on its banking sector.
The factories depend upon natural resources.

If one thing depends on another thing, the first thing is affected by the second.

The success of the meeting depends largely on whether the chairperson is efficient.
The cooking time depends on the size of the potato.

Be Careful!
Depend is never an adjective. Don't say, for example, that someone or something 'is depend on' another person or thing. You say that they are dependent on that person or thing.

The local economy is dependent on oil and gas extraction.
2. 'depending on'

You use depending on to say that something varies according to particular circumstances.

There are, depending on the individual, a lot of different approaches.
They cost £20 or £25 depending on the size.
3. 'it depends'

Sometimes people answer a question by saying 'It depends', rather than 'yes' or 'no'. They usually then explain what else affects the situation.

'What time will you arrive?' 'It depends. If I come by train, I'll arrive at 5 o'clock. If I come by bus, I'll be a bit later.'
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


Past participle: depended
Gerund: depending

I depend
you depend
he/she/it depends
we depend
you depend
they depend
I depended
you depended
he/she/it depended
we depended
you depended
they depended
Present Continuous
I am depending
you are depending
he/she/it is depending
we are depending
you are depending
they are depending
Present Perfect
I have depended
you have depended
he/she/it has depended
we have depended
you have depended
they have depended
Past Continuous
I was depending
you were depending
he/she/it was depending
we were depending
you were depending
they were depending
Past Perfect
I had depended
you had depended
he/she/it had depended
we had depended
you had depended
they had depended
I will depend
you will depend
he/she/it will depend
we will depend
you will depend
they will depend
Future Perfect
I will have depended
you will have depended
he/she/it will have depended
we will have depended
you will have depended
they will have depended
Future Continuous
I will be depending
you will be depending
he/she/it will be depending
we will be depending
you will be depending
they will be depending
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been depending
you have been depending
he/she/it has been depending
we have been depending
you have been depending
they have been depending
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been depending
you will have been depending
he/she/it will have been depending
we will have been depending
you will have been depending
they will have been depending
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been depending
you had been depending
he/she/it had been depending
we had been depending
you had been depending
they had been depending
I would depend
you would depend
he/she/it would depend
we would depend
you would depend
they would depend
Past Conditional
I would have depended
you would have depended
he/she/it would have depended
we would have depended
you would have depended
they would have depended
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.depend - be contingent upon (something that is elided); "That depends"
be - have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun); "John is rich"; "This is not a good answer"
hang by a hair, hang by a thread - depend on a small thing or be at risk; "His life now hangs by a thread"
2.depend - have faith or confidence in; "you can count on me to help you any time"; "Look to your friends for support"; "You can bet on that!"; "Depend on your family in times of crisis"
rely, trust, swear, bank - have confidence or faith in; "We can trust in God"; "Rely on your friends"; "bank on your good education"; "I swear by my grandmother's recipes"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. be determined by, be based on, be subject to, hang on, rest on, be influenced by, revolve around, hinge on, be decided by, be conditional on, be subordinate to, be contingent on What happened later would depend on his talk with her.
2. count on, turn to, trust in, bank on, be sure of, lean on, rely upon, confide in, build upon, calculate on, reckon on She assured him that he could depend on her.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


To fasten or be fastened at one point with no support from below:
phrasal verb
depend on or upon
1. To place trust or confidence in:
bank on (or upon), believe in, count on (or upon), reckon on (or upon), rely on (or upon), trust (in).
2. To look forward to confidently:
Informal: figure on.
3. To be determined by or contingent on something unknown, uncertain, or changeable:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
يَثِق ،يتَّكِل عَلى، يَعْتَمِديَعْتَمِديَعْتَمِدُ عَلَى
závisetbýt závislýspolehnout se
afhænge af
riippuariippua jostakinroikkua
ráîast afreiîa sig á, treystavera uppá kominn, vera háîur
išlaikytinispamatysimpasikliautipriklausomastai nuo daug ko priklauso
būt atkarīgam
byť závislýspoľahnúť sa
biti odvisen
güvenmekmuhtaç olmakbağımlı olmak-e bağlı olmak
phụ thuộc


[dɪˈpend] VI
1. (= rely) to depend (up)oncontar con
you can depend on me!¡cuenta conmigo!
can we depend on you to do it?¿podemos contar contigo para hacerlo?, ¿podemos confiar en que tú lo hagas?
you can depend on it!¡tenlo por seguro!
you can depend on him to be lateten por seguro que llegará tarde
2. (= be dependent) to depend (up)ondepender de
he depends on her for everythingdepende de ella para todo
he has to depend on his pentiene que vivir de su pluma
3. (= be influenced by) to depend ondepender de
your success depends on how hard you worktu éxito depende del trabajo que hagas
it (all) depends on the weather(todo) depende del tiempo
it (all) depends what you meandepende de lo que quieras decir
that dependseso depende
depending on the weather, we can go tomorrowsegún el tiempo que haga, podemos ir mañana
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[dɪˈpɛnd] vi
(= be contingent) it depends → cela dépend
it all depends → c'est selon
to depend on, to depend upon (= be decided by) → dépendre de
The price depends on the quality → Le prix dépend de la qualité.
it all depends on ... → tout dépend de ...
depending on → selon
depending on the weather → selon le temps
depending on the result → selon le résultat
depending on whether
The price varies, depending on whether you book by telephone or over the internet → Le prix varie selon que vous réservez par téléphone ou sur internet.
(= rely) to depend on sb (gen)compter sur qn; (financially)dépendre (financièrement) de qn, être à la charge de qn
You can depend on me → Vous pouvez compter sur moi.
to depend on sth (for one's survival, livelihood)dépendre de qch
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= be determined by)abhängen (on sb/sth von jdm/etw); the price depends on the quantity you buyder Preis hängt von der Menge ab, die Sie kaufen; it depends on what you mean by reasonablees kommt darauf an, was Sie unter vernünftig verstehen; how long are you staying? — it dependswie lange bleiben Sie? — das kommt darauf an; it all depends on …das kommt ganz auf … an; depending on his moodje nach seiner Laune; depending on how late we arriveje nachdem, wie spät wir ankommen
(= rely)sich verlassen (→ on, upon auf +acc); you may depend (up)on his comingSie können sich darauf verlassen, dass er kommt; you can depend (up)on it!darauf können Sie sich verlassen!; you can depend (up)on it that he’ll forgetdu kannst dich darauf verlassen, dass er es vergisst
(person: = be dependent on) to depend onabhängig sein von, angewiesen sein auf (+acc); they have to depend on the grandparents for childcaresie sind darauf angewiesen, dass die Großeltern sich um die Kinder kümmern
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[dɪˈpɛnd] vi
a. to depend (up)on (rely) → contare su, dipendere da; (be dependent on) → dipendere (economicamente) da, essere a carico di
you can depend on it → sta pur certo
b. to depend (on) (be influenced by) → dipendere (da)
it (all) depends on the weather → (tutto) dipende dal tempo
it (all) depends what you mean → dipende da che cosa vuoi dire
that depends, it depends → dipende
depending on the result ... → a seconda del risultato...
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(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.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


يَعْتَمِدُ عَلَى záviset afhænge af verlassen (sich) εξαρτώμαι depender riippua jostakin dépendre ovisiti dipendere あてにする 의존하다 afhangen van avhenge zależeć depender зависеть bero ขึ้นอยู่กับ güvenmek phụ thuộc 依赖
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


vi. depender, fiarse de [on, upon] un médico, un amigo.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
She does not depend upon his coming so much as I do: but she does not know the parties so well as I do.
Some poor, broken-down horses, whose mouths have been made hard and insensible by just such drivers as these, may, perhaps, find some support in it; but for a horse who can depend upon his own legs, and who has a tender mouth and is easily guided, it is not only tormenting, but it is stupid.
"Doesn't it depend perhaps on what you mean by behaviour?"
This again either does not happen, or, if it does, it will not be for your security, because that deliverance is of no avail which does not depend upon yourself; those only are reliable, certain, and durable that depend on yourself and your valour.
To say that deficiencies may be provided for by requisitions upon the States, is on the one hand to acknowledge that this system cannot be depended upon, and on the other hand to depend upon it for every thing beyond a certain limit.
It will depend on you, and it could depend on no better man.
In the first instance, the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers.
This could not be otherwise, for in order that the will of Napoleon and Alexander (on whom the event seemed to depend) should be carried out, the concurrence of innumerable circumstances was needed without any one of which the event could not have taken place.
The general tuckermanities are arrant Bubbles - ephemeral and so transparent - But this is, now, - you may depend upon it - Stable, opaque, immortal - all by dint Of the dear names that lie concealed within 't.
Do not torment yourself with fears on my account; depend on it, I can make my story good with Reginald.
Goad on your bullocks, and never more pray to me for help, until you have done your best to help yourself, or depend upon it you will henceforth pray in vain."
Mahomet, who was in possession of the mountains, being informed by his spies that the Portuguese were but four hundred, encamped in the plain of Ballut, and sent a message to the general that he knew the Abyssins had imposed on the King of Portugal, which, being acquainted with their treachery, he was not surprised at, and that in compassion of the commander's youth, he would give him and his men, if they would return, free passage, and furnish them with necessaries; that he might consult upon the matter, and depend upon his word, reminding him, however, that it was not safe to refuse his offer.