Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To be dependent for support, help, or supply: relies on her parents for tuition.
  • intransitive v. To place or have faith or confidence: relied on them to tell him the truth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To rest with confidence, as when fully satisfied of the veracity, integrity, or ability of persons, or of the certainty of facts or of evidence; to have confidence; to trust; to depend; — with on, formerly also with in.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To rest with confidence, as when fully satisfied of the veracity, integrity, or ability of persons, or of the certainty of facts or of evidence; to have confidence; to trust; to depend; -- with on, formerly also with in.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To fasten; fix; attach.
  • To bring together again; assemble again; rally.
  • To polish.
  • To attach one's faith to a person or thing; fix one's confidence; rest with confidence, as upon the veracity, integrity, or ability of another, or upon the certainty of facts or of evidence; have confidence; trust; depend: used with on or upon, formerly also with in and to. Compare reliable.
  • To assemble again; rally.
  • To rest, in a physical sense; recline; lean.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. have confidence or faith in

Etymologies

Middle English relien, to rally, from Old French relier, from Latin religāre, to bind fast : re-, re- + ligāre, to bind; see leig- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French relier ("fasten, attach, rally, oblige"), from Latin religo ("fasten, bind fast"), from re- + ligo. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That's great, until it becomes apparent that "rely" is exactly what they are doing.

    It Never Ends

  • But he neglected to inform the Court of Appeals that the FBI data on which he was asking the court to rely is qualified by an endnote explaining that the data for the years after the gun ban went into effect was not comparable to the data for the years before the gun ban.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » A reliable book about 1877

  • The Citadel will also again rely on fellow guards Zach Urbanus, who averaged 10.6 points in 32 starts, and Austin Dahn, who finished at 6.9 points per game, as well as forwards Harrison DuPont, who averaged 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds, and Bryan Streeter, who finished at 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

    Southern Conference

  • I've read a lot about Goldwater, but one of the historians on whom I rely is author Rick Perlstein.

    Taylor Marsh: Sarah Palin's Team Sends Smoke Signal on 2012

  • If you can't entice Maria or Juana into sorting through the juicy delicious blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and figs, again rely upon your fingers.

    Seeing my Mexico surroundings

  • If we simply ditch Hussein, our friends will never again rely upon us.

    The Lesson of Iraq

  • From this time, the support on which you must rely is the home of your husband.

    Fir-Flower Tablets: Poems Translated From the Chinese

  • CSI: Descriptive Subtitle rely heavily on fake technologies. which of these would you most like to be real?

    ScienceBlogs Channel : Life Science

  • 2 We do not in this memorandum attempt to reach a definitive conclusion on the question whether the use of signing statements to create legislative history on which the courts are to rely is or is not legitimate.

    Presidential Signing Statements

  • “In addition, while traditional phone lines generally keep working during a blackout, VoIP users might not be able to dial 911 during a power outage because the high-speed Internet modems, phone adapters and personal computers needed for VoIP calling rely on electrical outlets and batteries.”

    Possible VoIP disconnect looms

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