contingency

[kuhn-tin-juhn-see]

noun, plural con·tin·gen·cies.

dependence on chance or on the fulfillment of a condition; uncertainty; fortuitousness: Nothing was left to contingency.
a contingent event; a chance, accident, or possibility conditional on something uncertain: He was prepared for every contingency.
something incidental to a thing.

Origin of contingency

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

Synonyms for contingency

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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British Dictionary definitions for contingency

contingency

noun plural -cies

  1. a possible but not very likely future event or condition; eventuality
  2. (as modifier)a contingency plan
something dependent on a possible future event
a fact, event, etc, incidental to or dependent on something else
(in systemic grammar)
  1. modification of the meaning of a main clause by use of a bound clause introduced by a binder such as if, when, though, or sinceCompare adding (def. 3)
  2. (as modifier)a contingency clause
logic
  1. the state of being contingent
  2. a contingent statement
dependence on chance; uncertainty
statistics
  1. the degree of association between theoretical and observed common frequencies of two graded or classified variables. It is measured by the chi-square test
  2. (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

Word Origin and History for contingency
n.

1560s, "quality of being contingent," from contingent + -cy. Meaning "a chance occurrence" is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper