In trading, the term contingent order refers to any order which is only executed if specific criteria are met.
Contingent orders make it possible for investors to set up a series of separate orders ahead of investing, and place these as a single order. For example, an investor may use a contingent order to specify the conditions under which an investment position should be opened. Multi-contingent orders required that several criteria be met before the order becomes active.
The simplest forms of contingent orders are stop orders (assets are bought or sold when their price reaches or surpasses a predetermined threshold) and limit orders (assets are only bought or sold if the broker can buy or sell them at a predetermined price).
One-triggers-the-other orders are one example of more complex contingent orders, with the second order only becoming active once the first order has been filled. This type of order can be used, for example, to specify the criteria which must be met in order for the buy order to become active, and also to specify the criteria which must be met in order for the sell order to become active.