Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Language: French
Origin: dépendre, from Latin pendere 'to hang'

depend

verb
     
de‧pend S1 W2

it/that depends

spoken used to say that you cannot give a definite answer to something because your answer will be affected by something else:
'How long are you staying?' 'I don't know; it depends.'
it depends who/what/how/whether etc
You may take several months to reach your target weight - it depends how much you want to lose.

depend on/upon somebody/something

phrasal verb
1 if something depends on something else, it is directly affected or decided by that thing:
The length of time spent exercising depends on the sport you are training for.
depend on how/what/whether etc
Choosing the right bike depends on what you want to use it for.
depending on something
The expenses you claim can vary enormously, depending on travel distances involved.
2 to need the support, help, or existence of someone or something in order to exist, be healthy, be successful etc [= rely on]:
The country depends heavily on its tourist trade.
We depend entirely on donations from the public.
depend on somebody/something for something
Many women have to depend on their husbands for their state pension.
depend on somebody/something to do something
I'm depending on you to tell me everything.
depend on somebody/something doing something
We're depending on him finishing the job by Friday.
3 to trust or have confidence in someone or something:
You can depend on Jane - she always keeps her promises.
! Do not say that one thing 'is depend on' another. Say one thing is dependent on another.

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