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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for contribute


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 In the lead-up to the flotation, there had been a strong push for Saudis, including princes and businessmen, to contribute to what’s seen locally as a moment of national pride, and even duty. Washington Post, "Saudi Aramco gains 10% in debut to clinch top seat at $1.8T," 11 Dec. 2019 Jalen Gaffney, a freshman who played just two minutes, isn't ready to contribute much to such a game, in such an environment. Mike Anthony,, "Mike Anthony: UConn beats itself behind 22 turnovers and sloppy play from experienced guards Vital and Gilbert," 11 Dec. 2019 In the lead up to the flotation, there had been a strong push for Saudis, including princes and businessmen, to contribute to what's seen locally as a moment of national pride, and even duty. CBS News, "Saudi Aramco shares jump in IPO, making it more valuable than Apple," 11 Dec. 2019 The task force is also looking into a fee on commercial developments, as well as encouraging big employers to contribute to a housing fund. Chabeli Herrera,, "Their teen daughter sleeps in the living room. How America’s worst affordable housing shortage is hurting tourism workers," 10 Dec. 2019 Anyone wishing to contribute monetary donations throughout the shipping process can contact High Achievers Learning Center, located at 9608 Spencer Highway, via phone: 281-470-7800. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena, Deer Park, La Porte early education centers build alliance of charity," 10 Dec. 2019 Outlook: The Mavericks graduated 2019 Times first-team all-countian Josey Klingenberg, but return guards Johnson and Saunders to contribute on both ends of the floor. Megan Woodward,, "Girls Basketball: 2019-20 Preview Capsules," 10 Dec. 2019 Guests become directly involved in helping guides document and safeguard the park’s big cats, using telemetry equipment to track lions and snapping photos to contribute to leopard ID kits. Karen Carmichael, National Geographic, "These African lodges lead the way in wildlife conservation," 9 Dec. 2019 Plus, enlisting your guests to contribute to the meal helps create a more communal and convivial party atmosphere. NBC News, "Chefs and food pros share their best holiday potluck dishes," 9 Dec. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about contribute

Time Traveler for contribute

Time Traveler

The first known use of contribute was in 1530

See more words from the same year

Statistics for contribute

Last Updated

14 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Contribute.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on contribute

What made you want to look up contribute? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assail by words or arguments

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!