So I started off using dependency in a text file I was making in Notepad++, and then corrected to dependancy when the red underlining appeared.

However, going to Google Chrome, the red underlining reappeared for dependancy, and it wants me to use dependency.

I decided I'd Google it. Although the top two sites say dependancy, the next one is a question on this same site and shows dependency in the title.

The rest of the results are quite inconclusive. Wiktionary says that dependancy is archaic, citing Merriam Webster, which also agrees. While many of the other dictionary websites seem to show dependancy.

And then there's this site that's obviously put together by a robot which has both.

I was able to find that dependent and dependant are both in common usage and some articles there. Dependant is more commonly a noun and dependent an adjective. However, even this isn't followed consistently.

Independent and independence seem to always be consistent.

So are both correct? Is one more modern than the other? Is it regional? Is there a slight difference in meaning? Should I use one? Or the other?

  • 1
    Please include the research you’ve done. Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. Here, checking in several dictionaries is the obvious way to proceed. Mar 25, 2018 at 0:31
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    Wiktionary, Merriam Webster, Dictionary.com, TheFreeDictionary.com, grammarist.com, and the other article on this site that I've linked to.
    – azoundria
    Mar 25, 2018 at 0:34
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    "Dependancy" refers to the process of making something no longer a pendant.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 25, 2018 at 1:30
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    I've never once seen somebody spell it "dependancy", that seems to be a very archaic spelling indeed. The grammarist article you link to even describes the noun "dependant" as being very rare, and Chrome doesn't recognize it for me either. I'm pretty sure you've successfully answered your own question.
    – endemic
    Mar 25, 2018 at 2:12
  • Someone as skilled as you at English is not the norm. I ultimately did answer my question, in more than an hour, without the full history as was shared here. I understand and appreciate that all of you are spending your time to help and I hope this question goes forward into the future so your efforts can be well appreciated by others as well.
    – azoundria
    Mar 28, 2018 at 0:57

1 Answer 1


Dependant entered English directly from the French in the 1590s, with the nominal form dependancy attested from ca. 1610. Compare the word pendant. Dependancy meaning a territory subordinate to another state dates from 1680. The Latinate forms dependent, dependency commonly used today gradually supplanted the French borrowing by ca. 1800. American newspapers, however, were still using dependancy in the colonial sense at the beginning of the twentieth century.

So why should a computer program think that dependancy is a current spelling? Most likely because it was coded in India:

Proudly Made in India! ... They have been able to reduce their dependancy on scheduling different machines ( often from different contractors).

Farming in India - Benefits of organic farming for small farmers include high premium, low investment, less dependancy on money lenders, traditional knowledge, and synergy with life forms.

Headline: Monsoon is a dependancy India can never wean off from

Is insulin a dependancy drug?

The Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil), under the ministry of commerce and industry, is working on a zero dependant manufacturing mechanism in order to reduce the dependancy on imports.

In the rest of the Anglosphere, these spellings would be quite uncommon, but not in India.

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