contingent

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

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 for contingent

Synonyms: Noun

delegacy, delegation

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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and resentment of the people to whom he spoke, but his words were somehow tentative and contingent, as if they could be withdrawn on a month's notice.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

The Urban League tentatively committed to sponsoring the debate, contingent upon settling additional details, president and CEO David Hopkins said. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "Fox61 cancels tentative plan to televise Hartford mayoral debate after Luke Bronin declined participation, raises questions," 20 Aug. 2019 While Ricard appeared in six games last season as a defensive lineman, his roster chances this summer seem more contingent on his offensive value. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "The Ravens want to ‘get medieval’ on defenses. Fullback Patrick Ricard thinks he can help.," 6 Aug. 2019 The WiFi password, the only other amenity citizens might expect, wasn’t a public good in the café area but was contingent on a purchase. Rebecca Nathanson, Harper's magazine, "English Referendums and Scotch Voters," 19 June 2019 Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have said that any major trade deal with the United States should be contingent on the United States re-engaging in Paris. Jean Chemnick, Scientific American, "How the World Is Coping 1 Year After Trump Abandoned Paris Climate Pact," 31 May 2018 The deal would have included $500 million from the sheikh's investment firm, contingent on investment from others. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Kushners near deal with Qatar-backed firm to save investment in troubled Manhattan high-rise," 17 May 2018 Pay Attention to pH Absorption of a vitamin C is largely contingent on its pH level. Vogue, "Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin C," 19 Aug. 2019 But now many are saying they were told that their pay was contingent on them showing up to the speech. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Shell Workers In Pennsylvania Say They Were Told Either Attend A Trump Event Or Not Get Paid," 18 Aug. 2019 This could be contingent on what the Heat do during Josh Richardson's return the previous weekend. If there is any form of tribute for Richardson, then what to do when Hassan Whiteside makes his lone scheduled return? Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "Winderman: Unique challenges already in place for Heat | Commentary," 18 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Behind the strength of a contingent of talented runners, the Bulldogs claimed an outright league team title for the first time in 40 years. Jeff Tully, Burbank Leader, "Cross-Country Preview: Burbank looks for repeat league-championship performance," 29 Aug. 2019 Adding to the hand-wringing of the Fountain Valley contingent was a touchdown run nullified by just the second of the Barons’ three penalties. Barry Faulkner, Daily Pilot, "Fountain Valley football loses at Elsinore in Chris Anderson’s head-coaching debut," 23 Aug. 2019 At a recent conference aimed at professional coaches, your correspondent made up half of the female contingent. Fox News, "French mayor dies after trying to stop illegal dumping: report," 8 Aug. 2019 And O’Rourke went back to his Spanish quite a few times — a strategy that was not lost on much of the snarkier Twitter contingent. Jason Abbruzzese, NBC News, "Booker's side-eye gets traction on Twitter," 27 June 2019 Morant was part of the large contingent who took official visits to Michigan over the weekend. , Detroit Free Press, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football and wrestling gets commit from 2020 RB Gaige Garcia," 24 June 2019 Then came an impressive pre-draft workout in Los Angeles on Saturday, as Garland flicked 30-footers with relative ease in front of a large contingent, including some of the most prominent voices in Cleveland’s draft room. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers see Darius Garland and Collin Sexton forming dangerous backcourt similar to Portland Trail Blazers," 21 June 2019 But Snead was part of the contingent that interviewed and aggressively pursued McVay. Gary Klein, latimes.com, "As with Jared Goff, Rams coach Sean McVay and GM Les Snead could be in line for new contracts," 14 June 2019 Complicating matters even further is the presence of a large contingent of British euro-skeptics sitting in EU parliament following the strong showing of Farage’s Brexit party in European elections. Ian Bremmer, Time, "The Quick Read About… the U.K. after Theresa May," 10 June 2019

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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Statistics for contingent

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contingent

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

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More Definitions for contingent

contingent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of contingent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

contingent

noun

English Language Learners Definition of contingent (Entry 2 of 2)

: a group of people who go to a place together, do something together, or share some quality, interest, etc.
: a group of soldiers who come from a particular army and are working together with soldiers from other armies

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

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Comments on contingent

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