Anyone have a sensible word to finish the title above? I'm creating a semantic web, and some of the flip-sides to directional relationships are hard to track down due to their scarce usage. The specific consumer of this relationship, so far, is a technology tree. Other examples of relationships:

Non-directional relationship: Joe is a friend of Bob, Bob is a friend of Joe 
Directional relationship:     Sean is a father of Jill, Jill is a daughter of Sean

For the relationship in question I'm considering "contingent" or "dependent," discovered through using the thesaurus and dictionary. I'm not thrilled with these choices, though, and wonder if anyone knows of a better one. The answer does not have to be colloquial.

Bonus: If there are better terms I could be using to describe "non-directional" and "directional" relationships, please share. This is my world now, and it would help to learn the formal lexicon.

1 Answer 1


I thought about college classes to answer this one. For example, if I said:

"CSI 321 is a prerequisite of CSCI 421."

I would then say:

"CSCI 421 is a(n) [blank] of CSCI 321."

Words that could plausibly fit in this blank include:

  • a continuation of, as in this thing builds upon a previous thing.
  • contingent upon, as in there is something required for you to do first before you can do this.
  • dependency, which is more of a computer science term in my book but does also fit here.

You could use any of these words depending on the specific meaning and connotation that you are going for.

  • Now that I think about it more, isn't "dependency" a synonym for "prerequisite" in technology circles? Which is a shame because it's so close to being the best term to use...
    – Kevin
    Sep 4, 2020 at 15:24
  • I agree that dependency works in the same direction. If B must exist before A, the B is a prerequisite of A, and B is a dependency of A. The second is most often reversed in word order but not in direction to be "A depends on B."
    – cmm
    Sep 7, 2020 at 16:56

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