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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Protesters are calling on the university to divest from its activities in Israel and any other investments contributing to the war in Gaza. Rebecca Noel, Charlotte Observer, 9 May 2024 Special to Cincinnati Enquirer Emerging from the 1980s Los Angeles punk scene, Bad Religion has since established itself as one of the most influential bands contributing to the modern pop-punk sound. Alessandro Corona, The Enquirer, 9 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for contribute 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'contribute.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin contribūtus, past participle of contribuere "to join into one unit, unite, attach (to a polity or ruler for political or administrative purposes), give as a portion or share," from con- con- + tribuere "to share, apportion, grant, bestow" — more at tribute

First Known Use

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of contribute was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near contribute

Cite this Entry

“Contribute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


con·​trib·​ute kən-ˈtrib-yət How to pronounce contribute (audio)
contributed; contributing
: to give along with others
contribute money to a cause
: to have a part in bringing about something
everybody contributed to the success of the show
: to submit articles to a publication
contributor noun

Legal Definition


contributed; contributing

transitive verb

: to make a contribution of

intransitive verb

: to make a contribution

More from Merriam-Webster on contribute

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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