depend

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as if (one's) life depends on it

With maximum, possibly desperate, effort or energy (i.e., as if one is at risk of losing one's life if one fails). The boxer started the third round throwing punches as if his life depended on it. This project could very well determine the future of the company, so start working as if your lives depend on it!
See also: depend, if, life, on

like (one's) life depends on it

With maximum, possibly desperate, effort or energy (i.e., as if one is at risk of losing one's life if one fails). The boxer started the third round throwing punches like his life depended on it. This project could very well determine the future of the company, so start working like your lives depend on it!
See also: depend, life, like, on

if (one's) life depended on it

Under any circumstances; no matter what. (Used almost exclusively with a negative statement regarding something that one couldn't or wouldn't do.) No way am I going to karaoke night. I couldn't sing if my life depended on it! No thanks, I wouldn't see that film if my life depended on it.
See also: depend, if, life, on

depend (up)on someone or something

to rely upon someone or something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) Can I depend on you to do this right? You can depend upon me for help.
See also: depend, on

That (all) depends.

My answer depends on factors that have yet to be discussed. Tom: Will you be able to come to the meeting on Thursday night? Mary: That all depends. Bob: Can I see you again? Sally: That depends.
See also: depend

depend on

or depend upon
v.
1. To be contingent upon something or someone for an outcome: Whether or not we go on the picnic depends on the weather.
2. To rely on something or someone, especially for support or maintenance: Children depend on adults for food and shelter.
3. To place trust or confidence in someone or something: You can depend upon my honesty.
4. To have a chronic or compulsive need for something; be addicted to something: As time went by, he began to depend on painkillers to get him through the day.
See also: depend, on
References in classic literature ?
The number of humble-bees in any district depends in a great degree on the number of field-mice, which destroy their combs and nests; and Mr.
In England the greater number of stercovorous beetles are confined in their appetites; that is, they do not depend indifferently on any quadruped for the means of subsistence.
Well, then, if you did, depend upon it, Fernand picked it up, and either copied it or caused it to be copied; perhaps, even, he did not take the trouble of recopying it.
but my sister must know you; she must in case of need have you to depend upon.
Doesn't it depend perhaps on what you mean by behaviour?
Doesn't it depend a little on what you call adventures?
Doesn't it depend a good deal on what you call drama?
Doesn't it depend again on what you call a relation?
Goad on your bullocks, and never more pray to me for help, until you have done your best to help yourself, or depend upon it you will henceforth pray in vain.
Thus, the bond's yield depends on expected future short-term interest rates, plus a term premium to compensate for the difference in risk exposure from holding the bond instead of the sequence of short-term assets (see box "Equation for the Ten-Year Treasury Bond Yield").
Football is a multi-component sport that depends on a number of energy sources to meet the strenuous physical demands of all the practices and games.
Carnivores' future well-being depends not only on management plans and legal protections, but also on their own long-term viability.
The role of minimum-wage standards in general depends on whether the actual or potential productivity of labor is greater than what workers are currently paid.
Managed care depends heavily on competent primary care physicians.
The nature and scope of debt discharge depends, however, on the type of bankruptcy petition filed.