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

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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and resentment of the people to whom he spoke, but his words were somehow tentative and contingent, as if they could be withdrawn on a month's notice.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 My ideas have always felt contingent and magical to me. Dan Rockmore, The New Yorker, "The Myth and Magic of Generating New Ideas," 7 Nov. 2019 The proposal was contingent on the company pursuing an outright sale in bankruptcy, rather than a debt restructuring. Fortune, "Neiman Marcus nears bankruptcy deal in Pimco-led takeover," 4 May 2020 The message was that U.S. military aid to the country was contingent on a public statement and commitment to investigating Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden. Andrew Theen | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Beat Check podcast: Gordon Sondland’s journey to the center of President Trump’s impeachment inquiry," 11 Nov. 2019 Twenty-one defensive players signed the letter, and Halas was so impressed that Ditka’s hiring was contingent upon him keeping Ryan on his staff. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 59, Jim Osborne," 8 July 2019 Easing restrictions in place since March would be contingent on seeing declines in identified coronavirus cases and increasing the state’s capacity to test people and trace their contacts, among other things. oregonlive, "How could Oregon reopen amid coronavirus? Read details from a draft report the governor’s office didn’t want shared.," 21 Apr. 2020 Going back to work and traveling might be contingent on test results, and potentially the presence of antibodies that might provide a measure of immunity. Katrin Bennhold, New York Times, "Some of Europe, ‘Walking a Tightrope,’ Will Loosen Coronavirus Restrictions," 8 Apr. 2020 Fauci cautioned that such a recommendation will be contingent on having an adequate supply. Audrey Mcnamara, CBS News, "Should the public wear face masks? Experts are weighing new guidance," 2 Apr. 2020 With Devin and especially with Ashley McBryde, your roster includes artists whose early success hasn’t been contingent upon radio play. Melinda Newman, Billboard, "John Esposito Re-Ups as Warner Music Nashville Chairman/CEO: Exclusive," 22 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Patrick’s contingent was strong for a late-entry hopeful, with approximately 800 supporters wearing his green and blue merchandise, an indication that focus on top-polling contenders doesn’t tell the whole story about volatility in the race. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Raucous crowd at New Hampshire Democratic fundraiser reflects long-simmering tensions among candidates," 9 Feb. 2020 The loan was reportedly contingent on a successful IPO (raising $3 billion)—which is now out of the question for the time being. Anne Sraders, Fortune, "WeWork IPO Filing Withdrawn As Roadshow Leads to a Dead End," 30 Sep. 2019 The three were among a large contingent of GOP members spotted on the floor without masks that included Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, according to the New York Post. Paul Cobler, Dallas News, "Several Texas Republicans decline to wear masks during House debate on coronavirus relief," 23 Apr. 2020 Chelimo, part of a large contingent of Kenyan runners who have competed at UAA over the years, was a sophomore when one of them, William Ritekwiang, committed suicide in February 2011. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "4-time national champion runner Micah Chelimo is first Seawolf selected for a national sports hall of fame," 17 Apr. 2020 And Sherwin-Williams noted that its plans are contingent on various approvals, including an incentive package that is sure to involve participation from both Cleveland and Brecksville, along with Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "Valor Acres, home of proposed Sherwin-Williams R&D center, nearly doubles in size with Brecksville land purchase," 10 Feb. 2020 Biden’s stated platform pledges to make any bilateral U.S.-China climate agreement contingent on their cutting fossil fuel subsidies and lowering the carbon footprint of Belt and Road projects. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Is Joe Biden a Climate Radical Now?," 18 Jan. 2020 Saudi Arabia historically has made up a large contingent of students there. Sig Christenson, ExpressNews.com, "Report: Saudis sent home include trainees at AF bases, including San Antonio," 16 Jan. 2020 Beijing has promoted itself to much of Southeast Asia as a friendly ally that doesn’t make aid contingent on honoring human rights. BostonGlobe.com, "The president reassured Hun Sen that the United States “respects the sovereign will of the Cambodian people and we do not seek regime change.”," 23 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for contingent

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for contingent

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contingent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contingent. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for contingent

contingent

adjective
How to pronounce contingent (audio)

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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