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

Definition of contribute

transitive verb

1 : to give or supply in common with others contribute money to a cause
2 : to supply (something, such as an article) for a publication He contributed several poems to the magazine.

intransitive verb

1a : to give a part to a common fund or store contribute to a fund-raising campaign
b : to play a significant part in bringing about an end or result Many players have contributed to the team's success.
2 : to submit articles to a publication

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web But long-term closures of eight weeks or more may contribute to preventing spread. Max Londberg,, "Rebuilding America: After months of remote learning, trials remain for students, teachers," 28 May 2020 So these kinds of partnerships and collaborations allow everyone to contribute their piece of the puzzle. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "Shadowserver, an Internet Guardian, Finds a Lifeline," 27 May 2020 According to the German-language newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, Switzerland’s top court ruled in favor of employees in a new case against a company that didn’t want to contribute to employees’ rent payments while they were expected to work from home. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "Swiss Court Rules in Favor of Requiring Companies to Help Pay Rent for Employees Forced to Work From Home," 27 May 2020 The survivors sat at the front of the plane, which may have contributed to their survival. Fox News, "Bank president, second survivor are pulled from wreckage of Pakistan plane crash," 23 May 2020 Individuals and groups looking for ways to contribute might contact local agencies to coordinate donations of letters, masks, or other tokens of encouragement for distribution among clients. Popular Science, "COVID-19 is setting back recovery from opioid addiction," 23 May 2020 All are invited to contribute, no matter how trivial the information. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Waiting, hoping for Friendswood’s first Lemonade Day," 22 May 2020 This massive reduction in cost made possible through reusable rockets is contributing to several developments in spaceflight. Wendy Whitman Cobb, The Conversation, "SpaceX reaches for milestone in spaceflight – a private company launches astronauts into orbit," 22 May 2020 For the western North Pacific, specifically, the researchers note that the poleward migration of storm tracks there may also be contributing to the lack of trend in intensity. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Tropical cyclones are already getting stronger, new dataset shows," 21 May 2020

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.

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First Known Use of contribute

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive 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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Statistics for contribute

Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contribute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for contribute


How to pronounce contribute (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of contribute

: to give (something, such as money, goods, or time) to help a person, group, cause, or organization
: to help to cause something to happen
: to write (something, such as a story, poem, or essay) for a magazine


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

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Comments on contribute

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