depend

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Related to depending: depending upon
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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

depend (up)on (someone or something)

1. To rely on someone or something. You can depend on Tom, so if he said he'd be here at 11:30, then he'll be here at 11:30. I still haven't found a job, so, yes, I depend upon my parents for money.
2. To be dictated by certain conditions. Where we hold the wedding ceremony depends entirely on the weather—if it's rainy, then we'll have it indoors.
3. To be addicted to something. I have a harder time falling asleep these days, but at least I don't depend on sleeping pills anymore.
See also: depend

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

it (all) depends

The possibility or likelihood of some outcome depends on one or more unspecified factors. A: "So, would you be willing to join our company?" B: "Well, it depends—what kind of salary are we talking about?" Is it legal? Yes. Is it ethical? Well, it all depends.
See also: depend

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

success depends on your backbone, not your wishbone

Success is achieved through dedication and effort, not hopes and dreams or wishful thinking. You need to work on your writing every single day if you really want to be a famous author because success depends on your backbone, not your wishbone.
See also: depend, not, on, success

that (all) depends

The possibility or likelihood of some outcome depends on one or more unspecified factors. A: "So, would you be willing to join our company?" B: "Well, that depends—what kind of salary are we talking about?" Is it legal? Yes. Is it ethical? Well, that all depends.
See also: depend, that
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, that
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

it/that (all) deˈpends

(informal) perhaps; possibly: ‘Would you marry him if he asked you to?’ ‘I might. It all depends.’‘But is it right to send people to prison?’ ‘It depends what you mean by right!’
See also: depend, that
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

depend on the kindness of strangers

A form of self-deception. The phrase comes from Tennessee Williams’s play A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), in which Blanche DuBois, with delusions of grandeur, has a destructive effect on her sister Stella’s marriage to Stanley Kowalski. Stanley rapes her, leading to her nervous breakdown, and commits her to a mental hospital. As the doctor leads her off, she says, “Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” The phrase “kindness of strangers” occasionally appears in other contexts, as in “With no rain for a month, my garden depends on the kindness of strangers.” Sue Miller used it in her novel The Lake Shore Limited (2010). Talking about two characters in her play, the playwright said: “Well, you are not Jay . . . a guy who’s betraying his wife. And I’m not Elena. I’m not . . . dependent upon the kindness of strangers.”
See also: depend, kindness, of, on, stranger
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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