[kuh n-tang-goh]
noun, plural con·tang·os, con·tang·oes.
  1. (on the London stock exchange) a fee paid by a buyer of securities to the seller for the privilege of deferring payment.
Compare backwardation.

Origin of contango

1850–55; said to be alteration of continue or contingent
Also called continuation. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for contango


noun plural -gos
  1. (formerly, on the London Stock Exchange) postponement of payment for and delivery of stock from one account day to the next
  2. Also called: carry-over, continuation the fee paid for such a postponementCompare backwardation
verb -goes, -going or -goed
  1. (tr) to arrange such a postponement of payment (for)my brokers will contango these shares

Word Origin for contango

C19: apparently an arbitrary coinage based on continue
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for contango

1853, a stockbroker's invention, perhaps somehow derived from continue, or from Spanish contengo "I contain, refrain, restrain, check." As a verb, from 1900.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper