If A is dependant, what does one call B?

  • I used the term in software as Dependantor for B and Depenantee for A. Obviously not a real word, but works for me
    – Mark
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 3:28
  • 1
    @Mark I would prefer depender and dependee, or, better yet, dependant and principal.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 4:53

3 Answers 3


A is dependent, it depends on B. If these were variables, B would be called an independent variable.

  • 3
    Can I call B the dependency, or dependee?
    – Lenik
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 6:39
  • Does A is dependent also imply A is dependant?
    – Lenik
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 6:40
  • 3
    @Ray - the noun form is often spelt with an 'a', so you could say A is a dependant, it/he/she is dependent on B.
    – ukayer
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 6:56
  • 1
    @Ray - there's no good word in English for B. Dependee follows normal English conventions, but it's not in common use and you'd be better off using another construct rather than a single word to describe it.
    – Ian Henry
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 8:01
  • In American English dependent is both adjective, and noun. In British English, dependant is used as noun.
    – avpaderno
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 12:48

In programming, if A is a dependant of B, then B is a dependancy. This term is also fairly common in project and resource management.

However, in human relationships - if A is a child or spouse that is dependent on B, then A would remain a dependant but B would commonly be called a provider or maybe a supporter.

  • 1, I'm pretty sure the IRS counts my kids as dependants.
    – ukayer
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 14:39
  • Perhaps I was not being clear - A (child or spouse) would still be a dependant, but B (the person they depend on) would be a provider.
    – HorusKol
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 22:36
  • +1 (putting back my -1). I now see your point.
    – ukayer
    Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 4:27
  • No worries, even I was confused by my original answer ;)
    – HorusKol
    Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 5:43
  • This is the more correct answer of the two.
    – kumarharsh
    Commented Jan 10, 2015 at 12:09

In project management (and lots of engineering), B is the prerequisite for A, in that it must come first. B does not necessarily know or care about A.

  • 1
    1 for extending the scope of OP to engineering (and programming).
    – Fr0zenFyr
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 7:34
  • 2
    For Assignments and Tasks (when establishing a relationship to a Dependency) it makes sense for the other side of that relationship to be referred to as the Prerequisite (from the Dependency's point of view). Thank you, there are so many posts about this, and your answer is the only one that fits perfectly for me.
    – MikeTeeVee
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 11:36

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