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resentment of the people to whom he spoke, but his words were somehow tentative and contingent, as if they could be withdrawn on a month's notice.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

However, Tsipras said, this will be contingent on Macedonia completing the constitutional changes. NBC News, "Macedonia's president says he won't sign off on deal to rename country," 14 June 2018 Is Heisenberg saying that our scientific theories are contingent on us as observers? Marcelo Gleiser, Scientific American, "How Much Can We Know?," 8 May 2018 Both subsidies are contingent on Amazon’s adding 2,000 new jobs there. Tim Logan, BostonGlobe.com, "Alexa drives Amazon’s local hiring: It confirms 2,000 jobs being added in Seaport," 1 May 2018 Associate city attorney Brian Rabineau told a City Council committee that any commitments made in 2004 were contingent on future lawmakers voting to appropriate the money. Bill Turque, kansascity, "KC not obligated to pay developer for Three Light garage, city attorney says | The Kansas City Star," 28 Feb. 2018 Broadcom has said that its offer was contingent on all six of its candidates being elected. Michael J. De La Merced, New York Times, "Qualcomm, Moving to Fend Off Broadcom, Raises Bid for NXP to $44 Billion," 20 Feb. 2018 Delivery of much of that sum is contingent upon Amazon meeting hiring and investment targets. Matt Day, The Seattle Times, "Amazon shifts its sights to the East Coast," 13 Nov. 2018 Second, even for those Jews who are, our inclusion in the category of whiteness is historically contingent. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "In defense of Sarah Jeong," 3 Aug. 2018 Council tackles water issues The City Council also voted Monday to approve a third-party report on a financial audit presented by Belt Harris Pechaek contingent upon review of the city audit committee. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Oak Ridge North News & Notes," 11 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There were local Slovenian contingents in Cleveland and New York. Schuyler Dixon, The Seattle Times, "Doncic, Mavericks erase deficit in 102-101 win over Blazers," 10 Feb. 2019 That arrangement, Collins suggested, would avoid an overtly political atmosphere in which Ford was questioned by Republicans on the Judiciary Committee -- an entirely male contingent. Shannon Bream, Fox News, "Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford's team lays out terms it wants for potential Senate interview, sources say," 20 Sep. 2018 This year’s contingent includes 41 players who will be sophomores, juniors and seniors in the fall. Steve Reaven, chicagotribune.com, "Deerfield baseball focused on development during summer schedule," 9 July 2018 The evolution of heels is a small reminder, though, of how many of the things that are simply assumed to be true about gender are in fact extremely contingent. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "What High Heels Can Teach About Gendered ‘Truths’," 26 June 2018 Freeman-Wilson described the mayors’ contingent as a bipartisan one made of up of Democrats and Republicans. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Gary mayor visits Texas border town but is denied entry to tent city full of migrant children," 22 June 2018 Big-Bank Earnings Chief Financial Officer Jon Pruzan said companies are lining up to go public, but warned that deals are contingent on the government reopening, so that the Securities and Exchange Commission can sign off. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Morgan Stanley Earnings Fall Short as Trading Hampers Results," 17 Jan. 2019 Several countries have made even pledges that are contingent on other countries matching their ambition. David Roberts, Vox, "The “Trump effect” threatens the future of the Paris climate agreement," 3 Dec. 2018 The team, whose lease expires at the end of this year, has agreed to a tentative 25-year lease extension with the Public Facilities District that oversees the ballpark, but the deal is contingent on the county approving the public funds. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "King County Council member abruptly pulls support for $180 million in public funding for Safeco Field," 31 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 and Noun

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

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Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

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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)

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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