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 Laws limiting campaign contributions and expenditures are unconstitutional. Washington Post, "The many ambitions that propelled Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court," 27 Nov. 2019 Prosecutors charged that the payment amounted to a campaign contribution that should have been reported to federal authorities, but Trump was never charged in the scheme. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "While focus is on Ukraine, here's the evidence committees have compiled to bolster Trump impeachment case," 27 Nov. 2019 The city’s contribution to the joint courthouse project is currently estimated at $8 million; city leaders will agree to contribute an additional $1.8 million in city funds, with the other $1.8 million coming from the municipal court. Allison Wood, cleveland, "City approves funding plan for combined municipal/county courthouse complex," 26 Nov. 2019 The two allies of Giuliani may have been helping to pursue the probes and are alleged to have funneled foreign campaign contributions to Republicans., "Sending the case on to the Judiciary Committee, which is ready to start its own round of hearings in December, provides yet another chance to sway public opinion before a House vote expected by Christmas and a Senate trial in 2020.," 26 Nov. 2019 Keeping with his long-standing practice, Bloomberg will self-fund his campaign and doesn't plan on accepting campaign contributions. Ed O'keefe And Margaret Brennan, CBS News, "Bloomberg officially joins presidential campaign with multimillion-dollar ad blitz," 25 Nov. 2019 Irwin’s contributions were much needed after Makurat, who has started all but one game, looked sluggish from the get-go. Alexa Philippou,, "Crystal Dangerfield plays full game despite load management concerns, Nelson-Ododa playing with broken toe and more from UConn’s Ohio State win," 25 Nov. 2019 Balmoral and Maywood Park filed for bankruptcy in December 2014 after losing a lawsuit over a $100,000 campaign contribution Balmoral President John Johnston made to then-Gov. Dan Petrella,, "Plan emerges to bring horse racing and casino gambling to Balmoral Park after Gov. J.B. Pritzker quashes Tinley Park racino," 21 Nov. 2019 Based on the average contribution amount to the RAICES Bond Fund, support from more than 25,000 donors contributed to Wednesday's bond payments, the organization said. Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN, "A group says it's paying $2.1 million to free about 200 detained immigrants in 20 states," 20 Nov. 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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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

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Contribution.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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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