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English definition of “contingency”

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contingency

noun [C]
 
 
/kənˈtɪndʒənsi/ ( plural contingencies)
something that might possibly happen in the future, usually causing problems or making further arrangements necessary: "While it is impossible to account for every contingency, the industry historically has met demand and fully expects to do so this winter," said the American Petroleum Institute.
an arrangement for dealing with something that might possibly happen or cause problems in the future: The report advises a minimum fund of three months' net income to provide a contingency against uncertainties in the future.
on a contingency basis LAW if you work for someone on a contingency basis, you agree that you will only be paid if you achieve a particular aim, for example, getting a successful result in a court of law: In personal injury cases many attorneys work on a contingency basis, so you will not have to pay them a fee up front.
(Definition of contingency from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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