- (intransitive, followed by on or upon, formerly also by of) To be contingent or conditioned; to have something as a necessary condition; to hinge on.
We would like to go skiing, but it depends on the amount of snow.
1948, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, written by John Huston:
- Gold don't carry any curse with it. It all depends on whether or not the guy who finds it is the right guy. The way I see it, gold can be as much of a blessing as a curse
- (intransitive, followed by on or upon) To trust; to have confidence; to rely.
we should all be able to depend on the word or assurance of our friends
we depend on the mailman to come at the usual time.
- (now literary) To hang down; to be sustained by being fastened or attached to something above.
1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
- The long rows of teeth on the bulwarks glistened in the moonlight; and like the white ivory tusks of some huge elephant, vast curving icicles depended from the bows.
1982, Paul Fussell, My War:
- Besides, if you worked up to be a cadet officer, you got to wear a Sam Browne belt, from which depended a nifty saber.
- (archaic) To be pending; to be undetermined or undecided.
a cause depending in court
- 1703, The History Of King William The Third. In III Parts:
- While the Bishops Affair was depending, the King sent orders [...]
- 1836, Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Court of King's Bench:
- In perjury, the capias, warrant, and affidavit, are good evidence that a cause was depending.
- 1837, The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe, page 544:
- "A Letter of the King sent to his Proctors at Rome, concerning a Case of his in the said Court depending."
rely on support
- depend in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- depend at OneLook Dictionary Search