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From Middle English relien, from Old French relier (fasten, attach, rally, oblige), from Latin religo (fasten, bind fast), from re- + ligo.


  • (file)
  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈlaɪ/
  • Rhymes: -aɪ


rely (third-person singular simple present relies, present participle relying, simple past and past participle relied)

  1. (with on or upon, formerly also with in) to trust; to have confidence in; to depend.
    • 2012, BioWare, Mass Effect 3, Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →OCLC, PC, scene: Citadel, Huerta Memorial Hospital, Visiting Ashley:
      Shepard: You can't rely on anyone. Sounds harsh, but it's true.
      Shepard: It comes down to doing what you think is right--and damn everyone else.
    • 2012 May 26, Phil McNulty, “Norway 0-1 England”, in BBC Sport:
      Hodgson also has Wayne Rooney to call on once he has served a two-match suspension at the start of the tournament - and it is abundantly clear England will rely as heavily as ever on his ability to shape the outcome of important games.
    • 2013 June 1, “Ideas coming down the track”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 13 (Technology Quarterly):
      A “moving platform” scheme [] is more technologically ambitious than maglev trains even though it relies on conventional rails. Local trains would use side-by-side rails to roll alongside intercity trains and allow passengers to switch trains by stepping through docking bays.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:rely.

Derived terms[edit]