Etymology
Advertisement

contingent (adj.)

late 14c., "depending upon circumstances, not predictable with certainty, provisionally liable to exist," from Old French contingent or directly from Latin contingentem (nominative contingens) "happening; touching," in Medieval Latin "possible, contingent," present participle of contingere "to happen to one, befall, come to pass," originally "to touch" (see contact (v.)).

Meaning "not existing or occurring through necessity, happening by chance, accidental" is from 1610s. The noun is from 1540s, "thing happening by chance or by the will of a finite free agent;" as "a group forming part of a larger group" from 1727, originally especially "share of troops to be furnished by a power in a treaty or alliance," on the notion of "that which falls to one in a division or apportionment among a number."

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of contingent
1
contingent (adj.)
being determined by conditions or circumstances that follow;
arms sales contingent on the approval of congress
Synonyms: contingent on / contingent upon / dependent on / dependant on / dependent upon / dependant upon / depending on
contingent (adj.)
possible but not certain to occur;
they had to plan for contingent expenses
contingent (adj.)
uncertain because of uncontrollable circumstances; "the results of confession were not contingent, they were certain"- George Eliot;
2
contingent (n.)
a gathering of persons representative of some larger group;
each nation sent a contingent of athletes to the Olympics
contingent (n.)
a temporary military unit;
the peacekeeping force includes one British contingent
Synonyms: detail
From wordnet.princeton.edu