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To "rely" on something or someone is to have trust in that thing or that person. It’s very similar to the word "depend." When used as a verb, "rely" is almost always followed by the preposition "on."

  • You can rely on Bill. He’s a very good worker and he always finishes things on time.
  • Can we rely on Francine to get the job done?
  • They can’t rely on Jeff anymore. He’s not a very responsible person.
  • Helen relies on her car to get her to work every morning.
  • Who do you rely on for help?
  • We rely on our local grocery store for fresh produce.

reliable worker You can rely on Alice to do a good job at work.

The word "reliable" is the adjective form of "rely."

  • Ralph is a very reliable employee. He never misses a day of work.
  • You need a reliable means of transportation to get to school every day.
  • Sandra relies on her cell phone for many different things–not just making phone calls.

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This page was first published on April 10, 2012. It was updated on May 31, 2015.



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