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


chip in, kick in, pitch in

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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

The museums will contribute their own artwork to a traveling exhibition that will end at the Smithsonian in 2023. USA TODAY, "‘Molly of Denali,’ saloon discourse, ashes by mail: News from around our 50 states," 10 July 2019 PACs can contribute a maximum of $10,000 during the same span. Jasper Scherer, Houston Chronicle, "‘Anti-pay-to-play’ petition drive falls short of signature requirement," 10 July 2019 The three agencies, which formed a joint powers authority for law enforcement training in 2000, agreed in 2014 to search for a permanent vehicle training site and contribute $5 million each. San Diego Union-Tribune, "County preparing to build $30M police vehicle training course in Otay," 10 July 2019 In the tax year 2010-11, such earners could contribute £255,000 ($320,000) into a pension without paying tax. The Economist, "An unhealthy tax change hits British hospitals," 9 July 2019 Steyer and NextGen contributed at least $2.8 million to Gillum’s political committee. Anthony Man,, "Who is Tom Steyer, and how has the billionaire set up his presidential campaign in Florida?," 9 July 2019 Cline contributed $1 million to President Trump’s inaugural committee in 2017. Fox News, "Americans killed in Bahamas helicopter crash included West Virginia Trump donor's daughter, her best friend: officials," 9 July 2019 Longmont Mayor Brian Bagley said residents in his city alone have contributed more than $60 million since FasTracks debuted nearly 15 years ago. John Aguilar, The Denver Post, "RTD drills deep on funding for a Denver-to-Longmont train, aims to cut years off a 2050 debut," 9 July 2019 Most countries did not even contribute, records show, and the network became a jumble of unanalyzed information, some of it potentially useful, some not. Matt Apuzzo,, "Europe built a system to fight Russian meddling. It’s struggling.," 6 July 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.

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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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Statistics for contribute

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contribute

The first known use of contribute was in 1530

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More Definitions for contribute



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

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


to complain fretfully

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