A dependency describes a thing necessary for a program to compile or run. In general, dependencies are libraries that need to be linked (whether at compile-time or at run-time). Of course, some necessary tool (like yacc or lex) could also be a dependency.

De*pend"en*cy (?), n.; pl. Dependencies ().


State of being dependent; dependence; state of being subordinate; subordination; concatenation; connection; reliance; trust.

Any long series of action, the parts of which have very much dependency each on the other. Sir J. Reynolds.
<-- #sic. "action" is the singular. Why? -->

So that they may acknowledge their dependency on the crown of England. Bacon.


A thing hanging down; a dependence.


That which is attached to something else as its consequence, subordinate, satellite, and the like.

This earth and its dependencies. T. Burnet.

Modes I call such complex ideas which . . . are considered as dependencies on or affections of substances. Locke.


A territory remote from the kingdom or state to which it belongs, but subject to its dominion; a colony; as, Great Britain has its dependencies in Asia, Africa, and America.

Dependence is more used in the abstract, and dependency in the concrete. The latter is usually restricted in meaning to 3 and 4.


© Webster 1913.

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