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Definition of "contingent" [con•tin•gent]

  • Liable to occur but not with certainty; possible: "All salaries are reckoned on contingent as well as on actual services” ( Ralph Waldo Emerson). (adjective)
  • Dependent on conditions or occurrences not yet established; conditional: arms sales contingent on the approval of Congress. See Synonyms at dependent. (adjective)
  • Happening by chance or accident; fortuitous. See Synonyms at accidental. (adjective)
  • Logic True only under certain conditions; not necessarily or universally true: a contingent proposition. (adjective)
  • An event or condition that is likely but not inevitable. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "contingent" in a sentence
  • "Thus the soul is, on one side, linked to the unchangeable and the eternal, being formed of that ineffable element which constitutes the _real_ or _immutable Being_, and on the other side, linked to the sensible and the contingent, being formed of that element which is purely _relative_ and _contingent_."
  • "And if there is such an idea as the idea of a contingent being ” if ˜contingent being™ is a meaningful phrase ”, then there would seem to be such an idea as the complement of that idea, the idea of a necessary being, the idea of a being of which it is false that it might not have existed."
  • "The term "contingent resources" is a broader description of potentially recoverable volumes than proved, probable and possible reserves, as defined by the SEC regulations."