from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The state of being dependent, as for support.
  • n. Subordination to someone or something needed or greatly desired.
  • n. Trust; reliance. See Synonyms at trust.
  • n. The state of being determined, influenced, or controlled by something else.
  • n. A compulsive or chronic need; an addiction: an alcohol dependence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of being dependent, of relying upon another.
  • n. An irresistible physical or psychological need, especially for a chemical substance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or state of depending; state of being dependent; a hanging down or from; suspension from a support.
  • n. The state of being influenced and determined by something; subjection (as of an effect to its cause).
  • n. Mutual connection and support; concatenation; systematic inter-relation.
  • n. Subjection to the direction or disposal of another; inability to help or provide for one's self; a lack of independence or self-sufficiency.
  • n. A resting with confidence; reliance; trust.
  • n. That on which one depends or relies.
  • n. That which depends; anything dependent or suspended; anything attached a subordinate to, or contingent on, something else.
  • n. A matter depending, or in suspense, and still to be determined; ground of controversy or quarrel.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The fact of being dependent or pendent; the relation of a hanging thing to the support from which it hangs; a hanging; also, the hanging thing itself.
  • n. The relation of logical consequent to its antecedent, of conclusion to premise, or of a contingent fact to the condition upon which it depends; the relation of effect to cause.
  • n. The state of deriving existence, support, or direction from another; the state of being subject to the power and operation of some extraneous force; subjection or subordination to another or to something else: as, dependence is the natural condition of childhood; the dependence of life upon solar heat.
  • n. Reliance; confidence; trust; a resting on something: as, we may have a firm dependence on the promises of God.
  • n. In law: The quality of being conditional on something else. See dependent, 5. Pendency; the condition of awaiting determination.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming (especially alcohol or narcotic drugs)
  • n. the state of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.