This is from http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2505234/need-a-short-and-clear-definition-for-dependency-properties
A DependencyProperty is a property whose value depends (or can depend) on some other source (such as animation, data binding, styles, or visual tree inheritance). A regular property's value is stored in the object it belongs to, while you can think of a dependency property as being stored in a database somewhere. This database is essentially composed of a dictionary that maps (object, property) pairs to their values, along with a mapping of which properties depend on other properties (e.g. so when you change the DataContext of a Panel, it can notify all the children inside the panel).
So why do they store property values in some magic database somewhere? There are a few reasons:
•It reduces storage space. Adding a property (even if its value is null) to a class adds 4 bytes (8 for a 64-bit process) of space to every instance of the class. A DependencyProperty only takes up space when an instance has a value. For example, a FrameworkElement has dozens of dependency properties, most of which are never assigned values. If all those properties were stored in the class, each instance would be hundreds of bytes. Instead each instance is only about 40 bytes.
•It enables attached properties. Properties like Canvas.Left and Grid.Row have to be stored on objects that have never heard of a Canvas or Grid, so where do you put them? You put them in a database somewhere.
•It enables automatic property changes. Imagine how you would implement something like styles or property inheritance (the ability to set something like a font or data context on a parent element and have its value propagate to all child elements). Having all of this stored in a database makes it so the code is all in one place instead of being implemented separately for each object and property that needs it.
I am not sure I totally agree with the answer, but I know mostly it is right.