dependent

Being dependent means relying on something. Many people are dependent on coffee in the morning, while a dependent is someone who relies on you for financial support. In grammar-land, a dependent clause can’t stand alone because it’s a fragment.

Dependent comes from pendant, the French word for "hanging.” If you break your leg, you will be dependent, or hanging, on crutches to get around. Kids are dependents of their parents, since they rely on them for food and shelter. A drug addict is dependent on drugs. And if a decision is dependent on your mood, that means it depends on or will be decided by how you feel.

Definitions of dependent
  1. noun
    a person who relies on another person for support (especially financial support)
    synonyms: dependant
    see moresee less
    types:
    charge
    a person committed to your care
    minion
    a servile or fawning dependent
    type of:
    receiver, recipient
    a person who receives something
  2. adjective
    contingent on something else
    synonyms: dependant, qualified
    conditional
    imposing or depending on or containing a condition
  3. adjective
    relying on or requiring a person or thing for support, supply, or what is needed
    dependent children”
    dependent on moisture”
    Synonyms:
    babelike
    like a baby especially in dependence
    helpless
    unable to manage independently
    interdependent, mutualist, mutually beneficial
    mutually dependent
    myrmecophilous
    living symbiotically with ants
    bloodsucking, leechlike, parasitic, parasitical
    of plants or persons; having the nature or habits of a parasite or leech; living off another
    reliant
    relying on another for support
    symbiotic
    used of organisms (especially of different species) living together but not necessarily in a relation beneficial to each
    underage
    dependent by virtue of youth
    unfree
    hampered and not free; not able to act at will
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    independent
    free from external control and constraint
    autarkic, autarkical
    of countries; not relying on imports
    autonomous, self-directed, self-reliant
    (of persons) free from external control and constraint in e.g. action and judgment
    autonomous
    existing as an independent entity
    breakaway, fissiparous, separatist
    having separated or advocating separation from another entity or policy or attitude
    commutative
    (of a binary operation) independent of order; as in e.g. "a x b = b x a"
    free-living, nonparasitic, nonsymbiotic
    not parasitic on another organism
    indie
    (of pop groups) not affiliated with a major recording company
    case-by-case, individual, item-by-item
    separate and distinct from others of the same kind
    self-sufficient, self-sufficing, self-sustaining
    able to provide for your own needs without help from others
    self-supporting
    financially independent
    single-handed
    without help from others
    strong-minded
    marked by vigorous independence of thought and judgment
    unaffiliated
    not affiliated
    unconditional
    not contingent; not determined or influenced by someone or something else
    free
    able to act at will; not hampered; not under compulsion or restraint
    separate
    independent; not united or joint
    show more antonyms...
  4. adjective
    held from above
    synonyms: pendant, pendent
    supported
    held up or having the weight borne especially from below
  5. adjective
    being under the power or sovereignty of another or others
    “a dependent prince”
    synonyms: subject
    subordinate
    subject or submissive to authority or the control of another
  6. adjective
    addicted to a drug
    synonyms: dependant, drug-addicted, hooked, strung-out
    addicted
    compulsively or physiologically dependent on something habit-forming
  7. adjective
    (of a clause) unable to stand alone syntactically as a complete sentence
    “a subordinate (or dependent) clause functions as a noun or adjective or adverb within a sentence”
    synonyms: subordinate
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    independent, main
    (of a clause) capable of standing syntactically alone as a complete sentence
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week