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depend on

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phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theydepend on
he/she/itdepends on
present participledepending on
past tensedepended on
past participledepended on

or depend upon something formal

  1. 1
    [never progressive] depend on something if one thing depends on another, it is changed or affected by the other thing

    Their future depends on how well they do in these exams.

    depend entirely/solely on something:

    How much money you get depends entirely on your individual circumstances.

    depend largely (=mainly) on something:

    What the products will look like will depend largely on what customers want.

  2. 2
    depend on someone/something to need someone or something in order to survive or be successful

    The project's success depends on the support of everyone concerned.

    depend on someone for something:

    The young birds depend on their parents for food for several weeks.

    depend on someone to do something:

    The animals all depend on Mr Jackson to feed them.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of depend on
  3. 3
    depend on someone if you can depend on someone to do something, you are sure that they will do it

    I wasn't worried. I knew I could depend on you.

  4. 4
    as if your life depends on it with as much effort as possible

    She began to sing as if her life depended on it.

  5. 5
    depending on according to

    Prices vary depending on the area you choose.

See also main entry: depend


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