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Difference between Dependance or Dependence

Difference between dependance or dependence?

When discussing the concepts of reliance or the state of being influenced by something, the terms Dependance and Dependence may arise, causing some confusion due to their similar spelling and pronunciation. However, it’s important to clarify that Dependence is the correct and widely accepted spelling in both American and British English to denote reliance on someone or something. Dependance is a less common variant and is often considered an archaic or incorrect spelling of Dependence. This article focuses on the term Dependence, its definitions, applications, and nuances in various contexts.

Quick Facts Table

DefinitionThe state of relying on or being controlled by someone or something.
UsageCommon in both American and British English.
ContextsPsychological, substance-related, economic, and more.
ExamplesDrug dependence, economic dependence, emotional dependence.
Spelling VariantsDependence is preferred; Dependance is less common and not standard.

Difference Between Dependance and Dependence

Definition of Dependence

Dependence refers to the condition of relying on something or someone for support, sustenance, or survival. It encompasses a range of contexts, including emotional, financial, and substance-related scenarios. The term signifies a necessary relationship where one entity requires another to function, thrive, or continue existing in its current state.

Origin of Dependence

The term Dependence originates from the Latin word "dependere," meaning "to hang down from" or "to rely on." This etymology reflects the concept of something being suspended from or supported by another, highlighting the intrinsic connection and reliance between two entities.


  • Dependence: /dɪˈpɛndəns/

Comparing Dependance and Dependence

While Dependance might appear in older texts or in varying contexts, it’s essential to recognize that Dependence is the standard spelling across most modern English usage. The focus here will be on the correct form, Dependence, to avoid confusion and ensure clarity in communication.

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Dependence in Sentences

  1. The patient developed a dependence on prescription medication after long-term use.
    • Indicates a condition of reliance on a substance, commonly associated with addiction or habit formation.
  2. Economic dependence on fossil fuels has prompted a global shift towards renewable energy sources.
    • Highlights a situation where one entity relies heavily on another for economic stability or growth.
  3. Emotional dependence in relationships can lead to unhealthy dynamics.
    • Refers to a psychological condition where a person relies excessively on another’s emotional support.
  4. The country’s dependence on imported goods has raised concerns about national security.
    • Discusses a scenario where a nation relies on external sources for its supply of goods, affecting its autonomy.
  5. With the advent of technology, our dependence on digital devices has significantly increased.
    • Points out the growing reliance on technology for everyday activities and communication.


Understanding the correct usage and spelling of Dependence is crucial for clear and effective communication. The term encapsulates various forms of reliance, from psychological and substance-related to economic and technological. Recognizing Dependence as the standard spelling ensures accuracy in writing and aligns with contemporary English standards.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Is “Dependance” ever correct?
    • While Dependance might be encountered in older texts or non-standard variations of English, Dependence is the correct and accepted spelling in modern usage for denoting reliance or the state of being dependent.
  • Can “Dependence” have a positive connotation?
    • Dependence can have neutral or contextually positive connotations, such as in discussions about interdependence in ecosystems or supportive relationships. However, it often carries a negative implication, especially in contexts like substance dependence or over-reliance on technology.
  • How can one reduce dependence on technology?
    • Strategies might include setting specific time limits for device use, engaging in offline activities, and fostering personal interactions that do not involve digital devices.
  • What’s the difference between “Dependence” and “Addiction”?
    • Dependence refers to a physical or psychological reliance on a substance or behavior. Addiction is characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences, often accompanied by a physiological dependence.
  • Is economic dependence on a single industry risky?
    • Yes, reliance on a single industry for economic stability can expose an economy to higher risks of volatility and adverse impacts from industry-specific downturns or global market changes. Diversification is generally recommended to mitigate such risks.
dependency vs. addiction


What is the difference between dependance and dependence?

The words “dependant” and “dependent” are similar in sound and meaning, but they have different usage in American and British English. In American English, “dependent” is the preferred spelling and is used for both the adjective and the noun form. In British English, “dependant” is used specifically for the noun form, referring to someone who relies on the support of another. The adjective form in British English is still spelled as “dependent.”

What is the difference between dependency and addiction?

Dependency refers to a physical reliance on a substance, characterized by symptoms of tolerance and withdrawal. It is possible to have a physical dependence without being addicted. Addiction, on the other hand, involves a change in behavior caused by the biochemical changes in the brain after continued substance abuse. It is marked by both a mental and physical reliance on a substance, with substance use becoming the main priority for the addict.

What is the current terminology for substance use disorders?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the leading source for diagnosing and understanding addiction. The most recent edition has replaced the terms “substance abuse” and “substance dependence” with the term “substance use disorder.” The American Psychological Association (APA) made this change to eliminate confusion and negative connotations associated with the term “addiction.” Substance use disorders are now classified as mild, moderate, or severe.

Can a dependence lead to addiction?

Yes, while a dependence may exist without addiction, substance dependencies often lead to addiction. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms and seek help from a treatment provider who can provide the necessary support and resources for recovery.

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

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