Dependent and Dependant

What is the difference between dependant and dependent?

In British English: In American English, you can use dependent for both.

Dependent and Dependant

Writers following British writing convention often confuse dependent and dependant. Those following US writing convention have an easier time with these words because Americans do not use dependant.


A dependant is a person who is dependent on someone else. (For example, a child is dependent on its parents. Therefore, a child is a dependant of its parents.)



The word dependent is an adjective meaning contingent on, relying on, supported by, or addicted to.


A Quick Test

In American English, Dependent Is Both Adjective and Noun

Writers following US writing convention do not need to worry about the word dependant as Americans use dependent for the adjective (meaning reliant on) and the noun (meaning a person). For example:

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See Also

What are nouns? What are adjectives? List of easily confused words