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See also: dépend and depënd



Borrowing from Middle French dependre, from de- + pendre(to hang), or from Latin dependeō.



depend ‎(third-person singular simple present depends, present participle depending, simple past and past participle depended)

  1. (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.
  2. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) To hang in suspense; to be pending; to be undetermined or undecided; as, a cause depending in court.
  3. To rely on for support; to be conditioned or contingent; to be connected with anything, as a cause of existence, or as a necessary condition; — followed by on or upon, formerly by of.
  4. To trust; to rest with confidence; to rely; to confide; to be certain; — with on or upon; as, we depend on the word or assurance of our friends; we depend on the mail at the usual hour.
  5. To serve; to attend; to act as a dependent or retainer.