dependence (n.)

early 15c., dependaunce, "consequence, result, relation of a conclusion to a premise or an effect to a cause," from Old French dépendance (from dependre; see depend) and from Medieval Latin dependentia. Originally also dependance (which is the older of the two modern spellings), depending whether the writer had French or Latin foremost in mind; the Latin form gradually predominated, and after c. 1800 the spelling dependance is rare. For discussion, see dependant (n.).

From mid-15c. as "state of deriving existence, support, or direction from another." From 1620s as "reliance, confidence, trust." Literal meaning "fact of hanging from something" (1690s) was rare and is obsolete.

updated on July 25, 2018