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 None of her three predecessors made similar contributions during their tenure, according to federal campaign contribution records. Jeremy Schwartz, ProPublica, "He Built a Privately Funded Border Wall. It’s Already at Risk of Falling Down if Not Fixed.," 2 July 2020 Bad as the crisis has been for business, Santa Virginia made its contribution to these difficult times. Fox News, "Italy keeps coronavirus pandemic under control, but many staying home to be safe," 2 July 2020 His services include providing appraisals for estate tax, charitable contribution, insurance scheduling and loss, and equitable distribution needs. oregonlive, "Moorish Revival lamps, cast iron bank, lithograph: What are they worth?," 30 June 2020 With this year's 2019 filing deadline moved to July 15, now is a high point for the IRA-contribution season. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, "Pay attention to these key tax changes caused by coronavirus pandemic," 29 June 2020 Supporters of the bill argued reasons for state include include that D.C.'s population, budget and GDP contribution is higher than other states. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: D.C. statehood bill passes the House," 26 June 2020 Emadi revealed that investigators intend to present evidence the Abrams campaign accepted donations from four groups that exceeded maximum contribution limits for a statewide campaign. James Salzer, ajc, "Group backing Stacey Abrams’ 2018 gubernatorial bid fined $50k by ethics panel," 18 June 2020 Now is a good time to reassess your risk tolerance, contribution levels, allocation and, for those who are no longer working at the company sponsoring their 401(k), to think about next steps for your retirement savings. Anna Bahney, CNN, "Here's what you should be doing with your retirement accounts right now," 8 June 2020 Lowrey said there are different contribution levels including sponsoring the purchase of a theater chair, furnishing the lobby or catering kitchen. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "‘Christmas car parade’ to support reopening of the Centrum at Cypress Creek Christian Community Center," 3 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for contribution

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for contribution

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contribution.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for contribution


How to pronounce contribution (audio)

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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