Learn 20 Expressions Related to Dependence

Dependence is a theme deeply rooted in human relationships, economics, and behaviors. It manifests in various expressions that describe reliance, need, or the inability to do without someone or something. This blog post will delve into 20 expressions related to dependence, each packed with real-life applications. These phrases will enrich your understanding and usage of English, particularly in describing situations where support or reliance is essential.

Expressions Related to Dependence

1. Lean on

Meaning: Rely on someone for support.

Example: She always leans on her brother for advice.

2. Hang by a thread

Meaning: To be in a precarious or unstable state.

Example: His job is hanging by a thread.

3. Be at someone’s mercy

Meaning: Completely dependent on someone’s actions.

Example: Lost at sea, they were at the mercy of the weather.

4. Tied to someone’s apron strings

Meaning: Too dependent on someone, especially a family member.

Example: He’s still tied to his mother’s apron strings.

5. Rely on the kindness of strangers

Meaning: Depend on the generosity of others.

Example: Without money, she had to rely on the kindness of strangers.

6. Put all your eggs in one basket

Meaning: Depend entirely on one thing for success.

Example: Investing all your money in one company is like putting all your eggs in one basket.

7. A crutch

Meaning: Something or someone relied on too much.

Example: His use of notes has become a crutch during presentations.

8. Hooked on

Meaning: Addicted to or very dependent on something.

Example: He’s completely hooked on caffeine.

9. Can’t live without

Meaning: To be unable to function without someone or something.

Example: She can’t live without her phone.

10. In someone’s clutches

Meaning: Under someone’s control or influence.

Example: Once in debt, he was in the lender’s clutches.

11. Be glued to

Meaning: To be very focused on or attached to something.

Example: She’s always glued to her laptop.

12. Dependent on

Meaning: Requiring someone/something for financial, emotional, or other support.

Example: He’s financially dependent on his parents.

13. Under someone’s thumb

Meaning: Controlled or dominated by someone.

Example: She’s been under his thumb for years.

14. Hang onto someone’s every word

Meaning: Listen to someone very attentively; rely heavily on their words.

Example: They hung onto the expert’s every word.

15. Live off someone

Meaning: Rely on someone else for financial support.

Example: He’s living off his relatives.

16. Stand on your own two feet

Meaning: Be independent and not rely on others.

Example: It’s time he learned to stand on his own two feet.

17. Go belly up

Meaning: Fail completely; often financially.

Example: Without further investment, the company could go belly up.

18. Have someone in the palm of your hand

Meaning: Have control over someone, often because they depend on you.

Example: He had the audience in the palm of his hand.

19. Be bound up in/with

Meaning: Be deeply involved or connected with.

Example: She’s bound up in her family’s business.

20. Throw yourself on the mercy of

Meaning: Ask for help or forgiveness due to lack of alternatives.

Example: He threw himself on the mercy of the court.

Expressions Related to Dependence