Definition of contingent in English:

contingent

Syllabification: con·tin·gent
Pronunciation: /kənˈtinjənt
 
/

adjective

1Subject to chance: the contingent nature of the job
More example sentences
  • The subject is a historically contingent effect, but to see ourselves as purely victims of historical and spatial imperatives is to limit our understanding of what it is to be human.
  • That the emotions have a history implies that subjects are historically contingent and open to the possibility that they are hence culturally determined.
  • In turn, articulating cultural practices of the subjects so constituted mark contingent collective ‘histories’ with variable new meanings.
Synonyms
chance, accidental, fortuitous, possible, unforeseeable, unpredictable, random, haphazard
1.1(Of losses, liabilities, etc.) that can be anticipated to arise if a particular event occurs: businesses need to be aware of their liabilities, both actual and contingent
More example sentences
  • Evaluating a company's debt, acquisitions, working capital, contingent liabilities and other accounting intricacies will help spot trouble ahead.
  • So the Fund's objection was largely a technicality, because the assets and contingent liabilities of the whole of the public sector remained unchanged.
  • No deduction is given for contingent liabilities until they crystallise.
1.2 Philosophy True by virtue of the way things in fact are and not by logical necessity: that men are living creatures is a contingent fact
More example sentences
  • Thus a reference to a singular contingent fact to explain why you never succeed in killing your younger self seems not to fulfil the requirement of being an explanation.
  • That stones released near the surface of the Earth invariably travel downwards is a contingent fact that could conceivably have been otherwise.
  • For example, it is necessarily true that all ravens can be black, but it is only a matter of contingent fact that all ravens examined have been black.
2 (contingent on/upon) Occurring or existing only if (certain other circumstances) are the case; dependent on: resolution of the conflict was contingent on the signing of a ceasefire agreement
More example sentences
  • Thus the truth we establish is contingent on the circumstances.
  • Whether the net effect is to maintain existing cell size, increase it or reduce it is not part of the theory, but contingent on ecological circumstances.
  • Although such a strategy is undoubtedly conceptually attractive, it appears likely that its value in a given circumstance will be contingent on several factors.
Synonyms
dependent on, conditional on, subject to, determined by, hinging on, resting on

noun

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1A group of people united by some common feature, forming part of a larger group: a contingent of Japanese businessmen attending a conference
More example sentences
  • The new film is likely to be set before the Second World War, and could feature a strong contingent of British stars.
  • The accompanying exhibition will feature the strongest-ever contingent of Scots games producers.
  • The rest of the piece featured the Royal contingent.
Synonyms
group, party, body, band, company, cohort, deputation, delegation
informal bunch, gang
1.1A body of troops or police sent to join a larger force in an operation: a contingent of 2,000 marines
More example sentences
  • Courses run by other ministries and agencies train civilian and police specialists for peacekeeping contingents of multinational forces.
  • The military contingent is assisting the police by providing a secure environment so law and order can be re-established.
  • Such an army needs to be composed of three elements: garrison troops, mobile contingents, and a central rapid deployment force.
Synonyms
detachment, unit, group

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'of uncertain occurrence'): from Latin contingere 'befall', from con- 'together with' + tangere 'to touch'. The noun sense was originally 'something happening by chance', then 'a person's share resulting from a division, a quota'; the current sense dates from the early 18th century.

Derivatives

contingently

adverb
More example sentences
  • This creates a massive collage, a contingently constructed ‘dynamic referencing system in which all texts are interrelated.’
  • There is no combination of words that is equivalent to my meaning, since meaning is somehow ‘attached’ to words, and quite loosely and contingently.
  • Contingency search firms employ mid-level recruiters who fill positions in the $50,000 - $100,000 range and are usually paid contingently on what they can produce.

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Pronunciation: ˈdiNGkəm
adjective
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