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resentment of the people to whom he spoke, but his words were somehow tentative and contingent, as if they could be withdrawn on a month's notice.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

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 Rahn also touted the state’s plan to spend $1.4 billion to add four toll lanes on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway — a plan that is contingent upon the National Park Service’s turning over that highway to the state. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, "'The traffic is horrible': Baltimore commute ranks among nation's longest," 18 June 2018 Usually, the option is contingent on whether your team benefited in the end. Alejandro Chacoff, The Atlantic, "Soccer Has No Interest in Fairness," 12 July 2018 The experience is not contingent upon the transparency of ingredients or methods, but rather the dedication of the specialist, the presentation of hard work, and the experience given to the spectator. Ian Frisch, Longreads, "Anthony Bourdain and the Missing Piece," 9 June 2018 Stopping their spread is really contingent on doing other things like pollen-proofing your home or designating your room as a no-pet zone. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "How Does Allergy-Proof Bedding Actually Work?," 8 June 2018 The actual amount of credits the company would receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created and the amount of capital investment during that period. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "J.W. Speaker, maker of motorcycle headlights, launches $46 million expansion in Germantown," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The head of the US rescue contingent, Derek Anderson, described the soccer team's survival and rescue as the ultimate example of teamwork. Eddie Pells, The Christian Science Monitor, "Bond between players and coach may have saved Thai boy's lives," 13 July 2018 The preliminary agreement for McDonald’s Plaza, which is contingent on Hines receiving zoning approval, comes about a month after McDonald’s relocated its headquarters to Chicago’s Fulton Market district. Ryan Ori, chicagotribune.com, "McDonald's Plaza in Oak Brook to be demolished, redeveloped under buyer's plan," 13 July 2018 Some contingents, such as Cecily Anderson’s from Maryland, were as large as 200-plus. Evan Webeck, The Seattle Times, "A little rain gives Special Olympics USA Games’ opening ceremony a Pacific Northwest feel," 1 July 2018 The deal is contingent, however, on Disney giving up Fox's regional sports networks. Jason Abbruzzese, NBC News, "NYTV: The times is staffing for a weekly television show," 28 June 2018 Last-minute negotiations paved the way for North Korea to send a contingent of 22 athletes across the border to compete in five sports. David Wharton, latimes.com, "Despite the pageantry of the opening ceremony, politics still takes center stage," 9 Feb. 2018 The Philadelphia Eagles’ Tuesday visit to the White House was canceled after Donald Trump learned that the Eagles were sending a small contingent of players. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "How LeBron James' stance on White House visits evolved during the Trump presidency," 5 June 2018 The longball, Cheek's 17th of the year and only the eighth Kleist has given up all season, silenced the home crowd at The Jane and sent the small contingent of Kentucky fans in attendance into a frenzy. Special To The Oregonian, OregonLive.com, "Oregon Ducks softball allows season-high 9 runs in Game 1 super regional loss to Kentucky," 24 May 2018 Florida is sending a contingent of 230 people to the Seattle games, including chaperones and 2,180 athletes in 17 sports. Stephen Hudak, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando chosen to host Special Olympic USA Summer Games in 2022, brings $61 million impact," 17 May 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

13 Oct 2018

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)

: 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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