con·​tri·​bu·​tion | \ ˌkän-trə-ˈbyü-shən How to pronounce contribution (audio) \

Definition of contribution

1 : a payment (such as a levy or tax) imposed by military, civil, or ecclesiastical authorities usually for a special or extraordinary purpose
2 : the act of contributing also : the thing contributed his $100 contribution to the cancer research fund

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Other Words from contribution

contributive \ kən-​ˈtri-​byə-​tiv How to pronounce contributive (audio) \ adjective
contributively adverb

Examples of contribution in a Sentence

They thanked him for his contribution of time and money. He made an important contribution to the debate. As mayor, he made many positive contributions to the growth of the city. a book of essays including contributions from several well-known political columnists The money was raised by voluntary contribution.
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Recent Examples on the Web

While the Magic were thrilled with his contributions, Carter-Williams likely has put himself on the radar of other teams with his late-season play. Roy Parry,, "Magic’s Michael Carter-Williams provided late-season spark," 12 June 2019 The United Way cuts, which take effect July 1, follow a decline of about $3 million in traditional, unrestricted contributions to the organization, money generally divided among nonprofit groups in the Louisville region and Southern Indiana. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville nonprofits dealt another blow after United Way announces it will slash funds," 11 June 2019 Several Democratic senators have sworn off real estate contributions, and some have refused meetings with industry leaders. Vivian Wang, New York Times, "Inside the Stealth Campaign for ‘Responsible Rent Reform’," 10 June 2019 Claim Offer The piece sparked great interest in Bassano’s life and curiosity about women’s literary contributions in Shakespeare’s era, the challenges facing Shakespeare biographers, and feminist themes in the work. The Editors, The Atlantic, "Shakespeare and Company," 8 June 2019 The introduction of electoral bonds in 2017, for instance, facilitates unlimited, anonymous contributions from corporates to political parties. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Indian political parties spent $8 billion on this year’s elections—nearly half was by the BJP," 5 June 2019 First-time homebuyers who have contributed to a Roth for at least five years can withdraw up to $10,000 of earnings on the contributions, tax- and penalty-free. Barbara Marquand, The Seattle Times, "Make a home down payment without wrecking your finances," 18 May 2019 To recognize citizens for their public service or contributions to the community. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Even Queen Elizabeth Has This Party Anxiety," 22 May 2019 Maritime officials say the shipping contribution has likely increased as global trade has grown in more recent years. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Shipowners Seek to Slow Services to Meet Emissions Limits," 10 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contribution.' 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 contribution

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for contribution

see contribute

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Statistics for contribution

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contribution

The first known use of contribution was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for contribution



English Language Learners Definition of contribution

: something that is given to help a person, a cause, etc.
: something that is done to cause something to happen
: a piece of writing that is published as part of a larger work (such as a magazine, newspaper, or book)


con·​tri·​bu·​tion | \ ˌkän-trə-ˈbyü-shən How to pronounce contribution (audio) \

Kids Definition of contribution

: the act of giving something or something given : donation



Legal Definition of contribution

1 : payment of a share of an amount for which one is liable: as
a : shared payment of a judgment by joint tortfeasors especially according to proportional fault — compare apportion sense a
b : pro rata apportionment of loss among all the insurance policies covering the same person or property — compare indemnity
2 : the money paid by one responsible for a share
3 : payment to a common fund (as by an employer or employee to an insurance plan or retirement fund)

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Comments on contribution

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