con·​tri·​bu·​tion | \ˌkän-trə-ˈbyü-shən \

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 \ 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

Zarya was built by Russia but funded by the US, with contributions from other countries. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Furby hell: this week in tech, 20 years ago," 24 Nov. 2018 In 2015, with the help of many donors and a very significant contribution from Michael and Lance, the organization’s brand-new, state-of-the-art building opened in SoHo. Bette Midler, Vogue, "The Wind Beneath Her Wings: Bette Midler on the Rise and Reign of Michael Kors," 18 Oct. 2018 Aerojet originally agreed to pay nearly all of the remainder, with a small contribution from rocket manufacturer United Launch Alliance. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Financial document reveals Vulcan rocket engine competition is over," 24 Sep. 2018 Scott’s campaign said the $10.7 million doesn’t include any contributions from the candidate. Anthony Man,, "Bill Nelson announces impressive fundraising haul; still dwarfed by Rick Scott," 13 July 2018 Singer contributed $7,500 to Emanuel’s campaign before the mayor was elected and stopped accepting contributions from registered lobbyists. Bill Ruthhart,, "Who is in Asia with Emanuel? Campaign donors, lobbyists, developers, business heavyweights," 13 July 2018 Bruce also announced a $10,000 contribution from the Lions Club International Foundation which was given to support recovery in the aftermath of the recent flooding in Ellicott City. Tracy Trobridge, Howard County Times, "Glenwood Lions Club recognizes police and fire heroes [Glenwood/Glenelg/Dayton]," 12 July 2018 Most recently, those donations include contributions from the oil industry, railroad companies, defense contractors and groups like the National Rifle Association’s PAC. Kevin Diaz And Jeremy Wallace, San Antonio Express-News, "Beto O’Rourke sets new fundraising records," 12 July 2018 Alia pools voluntary contributions from those clients, who each contribute at least $5 per cleaning; each cleaner can then use her pool of funds to redeem various benefits. Miranda Katz, WIRED, "How an App Could Give Some Gig Workers a Safety Net," 9 July 2018

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

1 Dec 2018

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


con·​tri·​bu·​tion | \ˌkän-trə-ˈbyü-shən \

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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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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