contingent

adjective
con·​tin·​gent | \kən-ˈtin-jənt \

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resentment of the people to whom he spoke, but his words were somehow tentative and contingent, as if they could be withdrawn on a month's notice.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

On some level, your achievements are contingent on having a stable and encouraging extended network. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What November's Capricorn Horoscope Means for You," 28 Oct. 2018 But Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that any talks about the withdrawal of Iranian forces would be contingent on providing security guarantees for Syria. Lolita C. Baldor, The Seattle Times, "US general visits troops fighting Islamic State in Syria," 22 Oct. 2018 However, the approval is contingent upon one thing: SpaceX must successfully demonstrate this fueling method at least five times on its new upgraded Falcon 9 rocket, the Block 5, before the process is certified for human spaceflight. Loren Grush, The Verge, "NASA might let SpaceX fuel rockets with astronauts on board," 20 Aug. 2018 Using different estimates, the share of contingent workers was between 1.3% and 3.8% in May 2017, the bureau said. Andrew Khouri, latimes.com, "Share of Americans working as independent contractors dips, government data shows," 7 June 2018 About 16 million Americans, or 10.4% of the labor force, were contingent workers or had other alternative work arrangements in May 2017, according to the report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "What gig economy? Fewer working as freelancers, contractors than believed," 7 June 2018 The report notes that their summer plans will, however, be entirely contingent on their Financial Fair Play (FFP) settlement, with the club getting rejected by UEFA following the presentation of a voluntary agreement. SI.com, "AC Milan Plotting Summer Moves for Bayern & Lyon Stars As Part of Another Squad Overhaul," 3 Apr. 2018 Hickson’s permanent appointment is still contingent upon council approval. Stephen Deere, ajc, "New Atlanta city attorney Nina Hickson refused to withhold records," 5 July 2018 That deal is contingent upon those countries successfully concluding a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, though there appears to be no deadline on how long that might take. Jacob M. Schlesinger, WSJ, "Five Things to Know About Trump’s Steel and Aluminum Tariff Plan," 8 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Europe won two years later at The Belfry in central England and has gotten the better of the United States in a majority of matches since, with the British contingent complemented by players from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Spain. Pan Pylas, Fox News, "British love affair with Ryder Cup to persist beyond Brexit," 27 Sep. 2018 The Usual Nolita’s contingent of restaurants typically involves satisfying food that appeals to most palettes, and The Usual offers just that. Amy Louise Bailey, Vogue, "The New York City Restaurants to Know This Fall," 31 Aug. 2018 According to a senior Afghan military official, the entire 106-man contingent was believed to have been either killed or captured by the Taliban. Rod Nordland, The Seattle Times, "The Afghan army’s last stand at Chinese Camp," 14 Aug. 2018 However, the funniest and most feelgood tune of this World Cup belongs to England, albeit borrowed from the Wales contingent that cheered its team to the Euro 2016 semifinals. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "What are those songs fans are singing at the World Cup?," 10 July 2018 The response to this news has been predictably mixed, with the anti-TER contingent full of gloating glee, while those relying on it for business have promoted work-arounds and struggled with what to do next. Rick Paulas, Longreads, "Sex Workers vs. The Internet," 15 June 2018 Fudge, a 66-year-old, six-term Congress member from the Cleveland region, had been mulling over whether to challenge Pelosi for the speaker’s race, after a vocal contingent of anti-Nancy Pelosi Democrats have ramped up calls for new leadership. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Ohio Democrat Marcia Fudge will not challenge Nancy Pelosi," 21 Nov. 2018 Finally, on Thursday, a small contingent of Philadelphia musicians went to the Yitzhak Navon Music School for the Gifted and Excellent in Lod to play chamber pieces. David Patrick Stearns, Philly.com, "Philadelphia Orchestra in Israel: Zahav's Michael Solomonov serves patrons 'Dinner in the Desert' as a capstone experience," 7 June 2018 The payments are drawn from insurers with a preponderance of relatively healthy customers to subsidize those with a larger contingent of less-healthy policyholders. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Trump’s Latest Affordable Care Act Move Adds to Insurers’ Uncertainty," 8 July 2018

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, from Middle French, from Latin contingent-, contingens, present participle of contingere to have contact with, befall, from com- + tangere to touch — more at tangent entry 2

Noun

see contingent entry 1

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Last Updated

24 Nov 2018

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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)

: 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 \

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 \

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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