Are you his dependency, dependendee or something else? What is this type of opposite word called? I believe it is not called antonym, as that would be independent.

  • You could say these words are reciprocally related. For instance, dependent is the reciprocal relation of dependency.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 12:56
  • 1
    Related: A depends on B
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 12:58
  • If it's in a bad way: enabler.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 14:14

6 Answers 6


I'd say you are his/her support or supporter.

See here and scroll down to the "noun" section.

  • Neither word really fits. Support is not used for people, and supporter does not imply dependency: oxforddictionaries.com/definition/supporter
    – z7sg Ѫ
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 18:05
  • 1
    @z7sg: It's been said before that English doesn't really have a single word for the counterpart of a dependent. So nothing "really fits", but this certainly gets close. Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 18:16


If A depends on B, then B provides for A and B is a provider.

to make arrangements for supplying means of support, money, etc. (usually followed by for): He provided for his children in his will.

to supply means of support (often followed by for): http://www.dictionary.com/browse/provide

Other words:

  • supporter If A depends on B, then B supports A and B is a supporter.
  • supplier If A depends on B, then B supplies A and B is a supplier.
  • caregiver If A depends on B, then B cares for A and B is a caregiver.
  • 1
    Best answer for the type of dependant I was looking for. Thanks!
    – NirIzr
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 2:34

If someone depends on you and you have a legal obligation to protect, support or care for them and their interests, then you are their legal guardian. The person who depends on you is your ward or dependant.

An informal word for the person who you depend on is your rock.

1611, King James Bible, Matthew 16:18

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

1991, Robert Harling and Andrew Bergman, Soapdish, Paramount Pictures

Celeste Talbert: She is my rock, my right hand.

  • 1
    But that's only in one particular sense of "dependant". The OP did not restrict the question to this meaning of "dependant". I can't think of a word that would cover this for all meanings of "dependant".
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 13:32
  • 1
    So far as I know, there is no single word derived from depend for OP's sense, so this is the best answer. I'm gobsmacked that several people have upvoted what to me is a manifestly incorrect answer. Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 15:56
  • @Colin I have added a less formal alternative.
    – z7sg Ѫ
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 17:56
  • I find rock too metaphoric. It's fine for figurative speech or literary use, but would sound odd if used in plain everyday talk.
    – CesarGon
    Commented Jul 30, 2011 at 13:29
  • @Cesar No that's not correct, it's fine for everyday use. Spoken examples from COCA: "I call her my rock, you know. She anchors me. She is the woman that raised me, she's the woman that made me who I am." ~ Alicia Keys "He is just so loving, so caring. He was my rock." ~ Unidentified female 48 Hours CBS
    – z7sg Ѫ
    Commented Aug 1, 2011 at 19:02

Simple language ordinarily trumps oral frippery (cf. Hemingway's "poor Faulkner" comeback), as exemplified by the first part of this sentence, but... There, are, times. So, thusly..



A generous patron, esp. of art or literature.


A person who supports or helps a person, institution, etc., esp by giving money; patron.


Not necessarily the most general alternative, but sponsor is sometimes used.

The Medicis were Galileo's sponsors.

If the support is monetary and public, patron can also be used.

The Medicis were Galileo's patrons. The NEA was Billingham's patron.

If the support is 'active', then advocate can be appropriate.

The indigent depended upon his advocate to navigate the bureaucracy.


For a generic direct straight counterpart to "dependent," there was nothing. But in computer science and technical land, your "dependent" has a "dependency" on you, the "dependee."

So, for the most generic (abstract) direct counterpart to "dependent," it could be "dependee" if you were brave enough to help propagate it to more general use over time.

A not-great source is here, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dependee, but I feel like it does not do the (newish) word justice.

  • 1
    This would be improved with a reference to your source. Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 5:38

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