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Definition of "contingency" []

  • An event that may occur but that is not likely or intended; a possibility. (noun)
  • A possibility that must be prepared for; a future emergency. (noun)
  • The condition of being dependent on chance; uncertainty. (noun)
  • Something incidental to something else. (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 "contingency" in a sentence
  • "The U.S. government depends heavily on what it calls "contingency contracting" to support the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan."
  • "The international lenders also attempted to make informed estimates on the loan losses, earmarking another possible €25 billion for what they described as a "contingency" fund, which the authorities here implied would never be used only, no matter the circumstances."
  • "Mainly, officials say, that any planning that is going on for Iraq (sic) right now is what they call contingency planning, not operational planning, not looking at yet trying yet to match troops, airplane ships, assets against any type of plan in order to make it happen."