Why was clemency trending last week?


[kuh n-tin-juh nt] /kənˈtɪn dʒənt/
dependent for existence, occurrence, character, etc., on something not yet certain; conditional (often followed by on or upon):
Our plans are contingent on the weather.
liable to happen or not; uncertain; possible:
They had to plan for contingent expenses.
happening by chance or without known cause; fortuitous; accidental:
contingent occurrences.
Logic. (of a proposition) neither logically necessary nor logically impossible, so that its truth or falsity can be established only by sensory observation.
a quota of troops furnished.
any one of the representative groups composing an assemblage:
the New York contingent at a national convention.
the proportion that falls to one as a share to be contributed or furnished.
something contingent; contingency.
Origin of contingent
late Middle English
1350-1400; late Middle English (present participle) (< Middle French) < Latin contingent- (stem of contingēns, present participle of contingere), equivalent to con- con- + ting-, variant stem of tangere to touch + -ent- -ent
Related forms
contingently, adverb
noncontingent, adjective
noncontingently, adverb
uncontingent, adjective
uncontingently, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for contingent
  • If you're given a sixty-dollar loan, your chance of getting another loan is contingent on you paying that back.
  • There was one characteristic and distinctive contingent which could have appeared only in such a regiment as ours.
  • Yes, your per-game discount was contingent on your purchase of one game a month for a subscription period.
  • But the first cases appeared downstream only days after a new contingent of peacekeepers arrived.
  • Hopefully, there is a large contingent of readers that are already part of the do-it yourself movement.
  • The two-to-five contingent are a wild and wily folk, changing whims and wants at a moment's notice.
  • She had agreed, contingent upon my finding a slightly better job than pumping off-brand gasoline.
  • There is a contingent of workers for foreign companies: oil and maritime engineers, construction supervisors, translators.
  • All physical theories thus must be logically consistent and must represent only contingent truth.
  • Senior appointment would be with tenure, contingent upon a tenure review.
British Dictionary definitions for contingent


when postpositive, often foll by on or upon. dependent on events, conditions, etc, not yet known; conditional
(logic) (of a proposition) true under certain conditions, false under others; not necessary
(in systemic grammar) denoting contingency (sense 4)
(metaphysics) (of some being) existing only as a matter of fact; not necessarily existing
happening by chance or without known cause; accidental
that may or may not happen; uncertain
a part of a military force, parade, etc
a representative group distinguished by common origin, interests, etc, that is part of a larger group or gathering
a possible or chance occurrence
Derived Forms
contingently, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin contingere to touch, fall to one's lot, befall; see also contact
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for contingent

late 14c., from Old French contingent or directly from Latin contingentem (nominative contingens) "happening, touching," present participle of contingere "to touch" (see contact). The noun is from 1540s, "thing happening by chance;" as "a group forming part of a larger group" from 1727.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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