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 & 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and resentment of the people to whom he spoke, but his words were somehow tentative and contingent, as if they could be withdrawn on a month's notice.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 Whether government arrests violent protesters or those assembling en masse and breaking quarantines is contingent on their ideology. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "How Much Ruin Do We Have Left?," 22 Apr. 2021 Per my response above, much of this would be contingent on larger buy-in and sustained, long-term funding that extends well beyond this current political administration. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "CDC declares racism a public health threat. Researchers weigh in on why.," 18 Apr. 2021 The Orange County money is contingent on the goal’s upward movement by $500,000 each year. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "Deadline looms for United Arts to receive ‘bonus’ funds," 15 Apr. 2021 State-tribal agreements are all contingent on federal approval. Cole Lauterbach, Washington Examiner, "Legislature sends Ducey bill to legalize sports betting in Arizona," 14 Apr. 2021 His love for her is contingent on her ability to absorb and mirror his own particular tastes and attitudes. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "Made for Love Puts a Marriage Under the Microscope," 8 Apr. 2021 In March, Nike announced that part of its executives’ long-term bonuses would be contingent on hitting specific diversity goals by 2025. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, "It’s time to align pay with platitudes," 8 Apr. 2021 Greenberg’s cooperation would likely be contingent on whether it was required by prosecutors to get a plea deal. Mike Schneider, Anchorage Daily News, "Associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz working with prosecutors toward plea deal in sex trafficking case," 8 Apr. 2021 Whether any gun control legislation will be passed into law, however, is contingent on whether Democrats in the Senate can garner ten votes from Republicans to break the legislative filibuster, which requires 60 votes to end debate on any bill. Mabinty Quarshie, USA TODAY, "OnPolitics: One week, 18 dead from guns. How will Washington react?," 24 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Recently, a small contingent of Korean-Americans have been hired for notable positions in the N.B.A., the W.N.B.A. and the G League. New York Times, "‘Do I Really Belong Here?’: Korean Americans in the N.B.A. Wonder," 16 Apr. 2021 The decision to leave a small contingent of American forces in Afghanistan was bipartisan. Lindsey Graham And Jack Keane, WSJ, "It’s a Mistake to Leave Afghanistan," 16 Apr. 2021 The Razorbacks fans bought up the suites, gobbled up tickets to three quarters of the available Bankers Life seats and overwhelmed the small but vocal contingent of Oral Roberts fans that made the trip from Tulsa. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Arkansas fans take over Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and Razorbacks give them moment to cherish," 28 Mar. 2021 Arkansas State Police cruisers blocked all the roads leading up to the Capitol and small contingent of law enforcement officers were on the grounds a short distance from the peaceful gathering. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, "Protesters find troops circling state capitols," 18 Jan. 2021 In about 10% of American families, men are becoming the main child care provider because of the pandemic, according to Alon, who says these families, though a small contingent, could accelerate a shift in traditional gender roles. Katie Surma, chicagotribune.com, "As the pandemic wears on, more working moms are forced to quit their jobs, and the impact of the ‘shecession’ could be long-lasting," 2 Nov. 2020 Among the crowd were Raiders fans from Las Vegas, cowboys from Kingman and a small contingent of bleary-eyed Los Angelenos. Alden Woods, The Arizona Republic, "'It's historic': When Air Force One lands in Bullhead City, all roads lead to Donald Trump," 28 Oct. 2020 A night of unrest might begin with a little bit of reckless behavior from a small contingent in the crowd. Sarah Jeong, The New Republic, "The Battle of Portland," 3 Sep. 2020 Most protesters were peaceful and had been abiding with the nightly curfews, but a small contingent turned violent, looting stores and damaging property. Washington Examiner, "Arizonans worried about more protests: Poll," 10 June 2020

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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Contingent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contingent. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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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