Con*tin"gent, n. 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.

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.

Con*tin"gent (?), a. [L. contingens, -entis, p. pr. of contingere to touch on all sides, to happen; con- + tangere to touch: cf. F. contingent. See Tangent, Tact.] 1. Possible, or liable, but not certain, to occur; incidental; casual.

Weighing so much actual crime against so much contingent advantage.

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." Tillotson.

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.