contingent

adjective
con·​tin·​gent | \ kən-ˈtin-jənt How to pronounce contingent (audio) \

Essential Meaning of contingent

formal : depending on something else that might or might not happen

Full Definition of contingent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : dependent on or conditioned by something else Payment is contingent on fulfillment of certain conditions. a plan contingent on the weather
2 : likely but not certain to happen : possible
3 : not logically necessary especially : empirical
4a : happening by chance or unforeseen causes
b : subject to chance or unseen effects : unpredictable
c : intended for use in circumstances not completely foreseen contingent funds
5 : not necessitated : determined by free choice

contingent

noun

Definition of contingent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a representative group : delegation, detachment a diplomatic contingent
2 : something contingent (see contingent entry 1) : contingency

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Other Words from contingent

Adjective

contingently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for contingent

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for contingent

Adjective

accidental, fortuitous, casual, contingent mean not amenable to planning or prediction. accidental stresses chance. any resemblance to actual persons is entirely accidental fortuitous so strongly suggests chance that it often connotes entire absence of cause. a series of fortuitous events casual stresses lack of real or apparent premeditation or intent. a casual encounter with a stranger contingent suggests possibility of happening but stresses uncertainty and dependence on other future events for existence or occurrence. the contingent effects of the proposed law

Examples of contingent in a Sentence

Adjective The isolation and co-optation of the capitalist classes in Germany meant that liberty as an ideal had no contingent link with capitalism, as had happened in Western Europe. — Orlando Patterson, New Republic, 8 Nov. 1999 He knows that the throngs cheering for him today will be cheering for someone else tomorrow, that enthusiasm is fickle, that real support for someone like him always has something completely contingent about it. — Andrew Sullivan, New Republic, 8 July 1996 Clearly the President was chastened by the sorrow and resentment of the people to whom he spoke, but his words were somehow tentative and contingent, as if they could be withdrawn on a month's notice. — Lewis H. Lapham, Harper's, July 1992 Every undogmatic historian is aware of the multitude of contingent events that entered into the victory of the Bolshevik revolution. — Sidney Hook, Revolution, Reform & Social Justice, 1975 If the Sovereigns would grant him, contingent on his success, such rank, titles, and property that he and his issue could hold up their heads with the Spanish nobility, well and good … — Samuel Eliot Morison, The European Discovery of America, 1974 Noun Hollywood, Madison Avenue, the FCC, and a growing contingent in corporate America: It's hard to imagine a more formidable alliance pushing segregated television. — Tamar Jacoby, New Republic, 24 Jan. 2000 A Maori contingent, unable to face the intensity of the Turkish fire, sought shelter in a nearby gully. — Martin Gilbert, The First World War, 1994 But just because we banned it [DDT] domestically, under pressure from the bird-watching contingent … it doesn't necessarily follow that the rest of the world was about to jump on the bandwagon. — T. Coraghessan Boyle, Harper's, April 1993 The group that makes up the largest contingent of voters in this area is the elderly. A contingent of reporters waited in front of the court for the defendant to appear. A British contingent was sent to assist the security forces.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective If the federal government must get further involved in the community college sector, funding should be contingent on better student outcomes. Preston Cooper, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 The Levys gift was contingent on UW-Madison gaining approval for the new building from the state. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 13 Oct. 2021 Baylor says the college doesn’t offer scholarships that are contingent on Plus denial, and students are able to appeal their financial aid offers regardless of whether they are rejected for the loan. Andrea Fuller, WSJ, 13 Oct. 2021 The plan was contingent on reducing the city’s total jail population to a point where its detention needs could be met by smaller facilities around town. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, 9 Oct. 2021 Passage of the legislation will be contingent on support from Senate Republicans, who have shown resistance to go along with measures related to gun control. Annie Sweeney, chicagotribune.com, 30 Sep. 2021 The funding was contingent on the entity not providing referrals for abortions. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 29 Sep. 2021 Washington has repeatedly said any recognition of the new Taliban government would be contingent on the militants' upholding human rights. NBC News, 26 Sep. 2021 There are already growing calls for aid to be contingent on ensuring girls’ access to education. BostonGlobe.com, 26 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Khanna’s district, which includes parts of the East Bay, is home to Little Kabul and a large contingent of Afghan Americans who contribute to the region’s diversity through economic, cultural and social means. Shwanika Narayan, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Sep. 2021 Damon came to Minnesota to restart his life with the help of Kaplan, then an attorney with the Fredrikson and Byron firm, and a contingent of other guiding forces. al, 13 Sep. 2021 Damon came to Minnesota to restart his life with the help of Kaplan, then an attorney with the Fredrikson and Byron firm, and a contingent of other guiding forces. Mary Lynn Smith, oregonlive, 12 Sep. 2021 Damon came to Minnesota to restart his life with the help of Kaplan, then an attorney with the Fredrikson and Byron firm, and a contingent of other guiding forces. Mary Lynn Smith, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Sep. 2021 The coming weeks worry public health officials given the state's lagging vaccination rate and a significant contingent of people and parents opposed to wearing face masks. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 Aug. 2021 White male hosts have long been the convention, with a few women (among them Meredith Vieira, Jane Lynch, Leslie Jones) and a larger contingent of Black men (Wayne Brady, Steve Harvey, Anthony Andrews) making inroads in recent years. Joe Reedy, ajc, 12 Aug. 2021 White male hosts have long been the convention, with a few women (among them Meredith Vieira, Jane Lynch, Leslie Jones) and a larger contingent of Black men (Wayne Brady, Steve Harvey, Anthony Anderson) making inroads in recent years. Lynn Elber, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Aug. 2021 White male hosts have long been the convention, with a few women (among them Meredith Vieira, Jane Lynch, Leslie Jones) and a larger contingent of Black men (Wayne Brady, Steve Harvey, Anthony Andrews) making inroads in recent years. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contingent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of contingent

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for contingent

Adjective

Middle English, borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Medieval Latin contingent-, contingens "dependent on circumstances, occurring by chance," going back to Latin, present participle of contingere "to be in contact with, arrive at, affect, fall to one's lot, come about, happen," from con- con- + tangere "to touch, border on, arrive at, reach" — more at tangent entry 2

Noun

(sense 1) borrowed from French, "portion that falls to one as a return, part given or received in a common effort, body of troops contributed by an ally," noun derivative of contingent, adjective, "falling to someone as a share, dependent, contingent entry 1"; (sense 2) noun derivative of contingent entry 1

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Time Traveler for contingent

Time Traveler

The first known use of contingent was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near contingent

contingency table

contingent

contingent fund

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Statistics for contingent

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Contingent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contingent. Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for contingent

contingent

adjective
con·​tin·​gent | \ kən-ˈtin-jənt How to pronounce contingent (audio) \

Kids Definition of contingent

: depending on something else that may or may not exist or occur Our trip is contingent on whether we can get tickets.

contingent

adjective
con·​tin·​gent | \ kən-ˈtin-jənt How to pronounce contingent (audio) \

Legal Definition of contingent

1 : likely but not certain to happen — compare executory
2 : intended for use in circumstances not completely foreseen a contingent fund
3 : dependent on or conditioned by something else a contingent claim a legacy contingent on the marriage — compare vested

More from Merriam-Webster on contingent

Nglish: Translation of contingent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contingent for Arabic Speakers

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