con·​trib·​ute | \ kən-ˈtri-(ˌ)byüt How to pronounce contribute (audio) , -byət also and especially before -​ed or -​ing -ˈtri-bət; chiefly British also ˈkän-trə-ˌbyüt \
contributed; contributing; contributes

Definition of contribute

1 transitive + intransitive : to give or supply (something, such as money or time) as a part or share contribute money to a cause contributed canned goods to the food drive What percentage of your pay should you contribute to your 401(k)? We'd like to thank all who contributed their time and effort. I'm happy to attend, but I don't have much to contribute to the discussion. Many people contributed to the fund-raising campaign. If you are a parent, success is probably defined by how well your children turned out. Are they happy, successful adults? Do they contribute to society in a positive way?— Bill Nordbrock
2 transitive + intransitive : to supply (something, such as an article) for a publication He contributed several poems to the magazine. The following authors contributed to this issue: …
3 intransitive : to play a significant part in making something happen Many players have contributed to the team's success. "We cannot address climate change without looking at all the components that are contributing to the problem of emissions."— Tony de Brum

Synonyms for contribute


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Examples of contribute in a Sentence

The volunteers contributed their time towards cleaning up the city. We're trying to raise money for a new school, and we're hoping that everyone will contribute. He did not contribute to the project. In order for the team to win, everyone has to contribute. He contributed many poems to the magazine. Ten scientists contributed to the special edition of the journal. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Literacy advocates argue that states should contribute more to adult education in order to increase workforce skills and democratic participation. Annie Waldman, ProPublica, 12 Sep. 2022 Tim Waters intercepted a pass and Charlie Adams contribute seven tackles and a sack. Reports, al, 9 Sep. 2022 The economists expect health care will contribute 70 basis points to year-over-year core PCE inflation in the coming year, 32 basis points more than in second quarter 2022, all else equal. Medora Lee, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2022 Carotenoids—pigments that were already present in the leaves but obscured by the chlorophyll—produce yellows, oranges and reds, while anthocyanins—which result from sugar getting trapped in the leaves—contribute red, blue and purple hues. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Sep. 2022 Poor proprioception may contribute to osteoarthritis, which shows up in about half of ACL reconstruction patients about a decade after surgery, said Adnan Saithna, an orthopedic surgeon with AZBSC Orthopedics in Scottsdale, Ariz. Aylin Woodward, WSJ, 7 Sep. 2022 Studies have shown that exposure to extreme heat can contribute to mental health issues, problems for pregnant women and poor birth outcomes. Jen Christensen, CNN, 6 Sep. 2022 Friends of the senior Downey’s — including Norman Lear, Alan Arkin and even Paul Thomas Anderson — contribute vivid reminiscences. Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Sep. 2022 Here’s a look at how the Ravens’ first-year players can contribute this season — and what might hold them back. Jonas Shaffer, Baltimore Sun, 6 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contribute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of contribute

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for contribute

Latin contributus, past participle of contribuere, from com- + tribuere to grant — more at tribute

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Time Traveler for contribute

Time Traveler

The first known use of contribute was in 1530

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Dictionary Entries Near contribute



contributing factor

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Statistics for contribute

Last Updated

15 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Contribute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for contribute


con·​trib·​ute | \ kən-ˈtri-byət How to pronounce contribute (audio) , -byüt \
contributed; contributing

Kids Definition of contribute

1 : to give along with others
2 : to have a share in something You all contributed to the success of the project.
3 : to supply (as an article) for publication especially in a magazine

Other Words from contribute

contributor \ kən-​ˈtri-​byə-​tər \ noun


contributed; contributing

Legal Definition of contribute

transitive verb

: to make a contribution of

intransitive verb

: to make a contribution

More from Merriam-Webster on contribute

Nglish: Translation of contribute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contribute for Arabic Speakers


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