Learn English – Two contradictory definitions for “count with” and a poem by Rudyard Kipling


The definition for "count with" from the two sources below seems opposite to each other:


to depend on something or someone

We currently count with the support of over 15 state senators.


to be important to someone.

Your cooperation really counts with me.

All my efforts do not count with her.

Are they both actively used (regionally, maybe)?

In particular, which definition should be taken for this line from a poem by Rudyard Kipling?

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

Best Answer

Most or all of the conditional statements in that poem involve being virtuous or bold, often in cases that involve remaining virtuous in the face of having power. Because of that, Kipling likely meant the second of the two definitions you gave.

If it meant

If all men depend on you, but none too much

It would be a judgement on the "men," not on "you." On the other hand:

If all men are important to you, but none too much


Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Here Kipling is indicating that it is virtuous to value all people, but not to put too much value on any one person to the point where it impairs your judgment or compromises your values.