[ kuhn-tin-juhnt ]
See synonyms for contingent on
  1. dependent for existence, occurrence, character, etc., on something not yet certain; conditional (often followed by on or upon): Our plans are contingent on the weather.

  2. liable to happen or not; uncertain; possible: They had to plan for contingent expenses.

  1. happening by chance or without known cause; fortuitous; accidental: contingent occurrences.

  2. Logic. (of a proposition) neither logically necessary nor logically impossible, so that its truth or falsity can be established only by sensory observation.

  1. a quota of troops furnished.

  2. any one of the representative groups composing an assemblage: the New York contingent at a national convention.

  1. the proportion that falls to one as a share to be contributed or furnished.

  2. something contingent; contingency.

Origin of contingent

First recorded in 1350–1400; late Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin contingent-, stem of contingēns “touching together,” present participle of contingere “to touch together, come into contact with,” equivalent to con- con- + -tingere, variant stem of tangere “to touch”

Other words from contingent

  • con·tin·gent·ly, adverb
  • non·con·tin·gent, adjective
  • non·con·tin·gent·ly, adverb
  • un·con·tin·gent, adjective
  • un·con·tin·gent·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

British Dictionary definitions for contingent


/ (kənˈtɪndʒənt) /

  1. (when postpositive, often foll by on or upon) dependent on events, conditions, etc, not yet known; conditional

  2. logic (of a proposition) true under certain conditions, false under others; not necessary

  1. (in systemic grammar) denoting contingency (sense 4)

  2. metaphysics (of some being) existing only as a matter of fact; not necessarily existing

  3. happening by chance or without known cause; accidental

  4. that may or may not happen; uncertain

  1. a part of a military force, parade, etc

  2. a representative group distinguished by common origin, interests, etc, that is part of a larger group or gathering

  1. a possible or chance occurrence

Origin of contingent

C14: from Latin contingere to touch, fall to one's lot, befall; see also contact

Derived forms of contingent

  • contingently, adverb

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