[ kuhn-tin-juhn-see ]
See synonyms for: contingencycontingencies on

noun,plural con·tin·gen·cies.
  1. dependence on chance or on the fulfillment of a condition; uncertainty; fortuitousness: Nothing was left to contingency.

  2. a contingent event; a chance, accident, or possibility conditional on something uncertain: He was prepared for every contingency.

  1. something incidental to a thing.

Origin of contingency

First recorded in 1555–65; conting(ent) + -ency

Other words for contingency

Words Nearby contingency Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use contingency in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for contingency


/ (kənˈtɪndʒənsɪ) /

nounplural -cies
    • a possible but not very likely future event or condition; eventuality

    • (as modifier): a contingency plan

  1. something dependent on a possible future event

  1. a fact, event, etc, incidental to or dependent on something else

  2. (in systemic grammar)

    • modification of the meaning of a main clause by use of a bound clause introduced by a binder such as if, when, though, or since: Compare adding (def. 3)

    • (as modifier): a contingency clause

  3. logic

    • the state of being contingent

    • a contingent statement

  4. dependence on chance; uncertainty

  5. statistics

    • the degree of association between theoretical and observed common frequencies of two graded or classified variables. It is measured by the chi-square test

    • (as modifier): a contingency table; the contingency coefficient

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