1. An event which may or may not happen; that which is unforeseen, undetermined, or dependent on something future; a contingency.
His understanding could almost pierce into future contingents. --South.
2. That which falls to one in a division or apportionment among a number; a suitable share; proportion; esp., a quota of troops.
From the Alps to the border of Flanders, contingents were required . . . 200,000 men were in arms. --Milman.
1. Possible, or liable, but not certain, to occur; incidental; casual.
Weighing so much actual crime against so much contingent advantage. --Burke.
2. Dependent on that which is undetermined or unknown; as, the success of his undertaking is contingent upon events which he can not control. “Uncertain and contingent causes.”
3. Law Dependent for effect on something that may or may not occur; as, a contingent estate.
If a contingent legacy be left to any one when he attains, or if he attains, the age of twenty-one. --Blackstone.
adj 1: possible but not certain to occur; "they had to plan for
2: determined by conditions or circumstances not yet
established; "arms sales contingent on the approval of
congress" [syn: contingent on(p), dependent on(p), dependant
on(p), depending on(p)]
3: uncertain because of uncontrollable circumstances; "the
results of confession were not contingent, they were
certain"- George Eliot
n 1: a gathering of persons representative of some larger group;
"each nation sent a contingent of athletes to the
2: a temporary military unit; "the peace-keeping force includes
one British contingent" [syn: detail]