The adjective contingent can be used to describe something that can occur only when something else happens first. Making money is contingent on finding a good-paying job.

When an event or situation is contingent, it means that it depends on some other event or fact. For example, sometimes buying a new house has to be contingent upon someone else buying your old house first. That way you don’t end up owning two houses! As a noun, contingent means either “a group of soldiers that joins a larger force,” like a contingent of British troops sent to assist American soldiers, or “a group of people with something in common,” like the contingent of folks dressed as Batman at Comic-Con.

Definitions of contingent
  1. adjective

    determined by conditions or circumstances that follow

    “arms sales
    contingent on the approval of congress”
    contingent on, contingent upon, dependant on, dependant upon, dependent on, dependent upon, depending on


    imposing or depending on or containing a condition
  2. adjective

    uncertain because of uncontrollable circumstances

    “”the results of confession were not
    contingent, they were certain”- George Eliot”


    not certain to occur; not inevitable
  3. adjective

    possible but not certain to occur

    “they had to plan for
    contingent expenses”


    capable of happening or existing
  4. noun

    a gathering of persons representative of some larger group

    “each nation sent a
    contingent of athletes to the Olympics”
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    type of:

    assemblage, gathering

    a group of persons together in one place

  5. noun

    a temporary military unit

    “the peacekeeping force includes one British
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    type of:

    force, military force, military group, military unit

    a unit that is part of some military service

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