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1 : the quality or state of being contingent
2 : a contingent event or condition: as
a : an event that may but is not certain to occur [a that made performance under the contract impossible]
b : something likely to come about as an adjunct to or result of something else
: contingency fee at FEE [whether a case is on a or billed at an hourly rate "D. R. Frederico"]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.