W2S1 [dıˈpend] v
[Date: 1400-1500; : French; Origin: dépendre, from Latin pendere 'to hang']
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 / [depend on/upon sb/sth] phr v
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 sth
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 sb/sth for sth
Many women have to depend on their husbands for their state pension.
depend on sb/sth to do sth
I'm depending on you to tell me everything.
depend on sb/sth doing sth
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.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • depend — 1. Depend in its main meaning is followed by on or upon: • It was quite wrong to come to depend too much upon one s children Penelope Fitzgerald, 1979 • As grandfather grew older…he seemed to depend increasingly on my company J. Simms, 1982. It… …   Modern English usage

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  • depend — early 15c., to be attached to as a condition or cause, a figurative use, from M.Fr. dependre, lit. to hang from, hang down, from L. dependere to hang from, hang down; be dependent on, be derived, from de from, down (see DE (Cf. de )) + pendere to …   Etymology dictionary

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