con·​trib·​u·​to·​ry | \ kən-ˈtri-byə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce contributory (audio) \

Definition of contributory

1 : of, relating to, or forming a contribution : playing a part in bringing about an end or result The lack of cultural empathy among the principal statesmen in the late 1930s is identified as an important contributory factor in the slide toward war …— Colin S. Gray Infection was a contributory but not primary cause of death in another nine patients.— Graeme F. Washer
2 : relating to or being an employee benefit (such as a retirement account) that is funded at least in part by employee contributions a contributory 401(k) plan
3 : subject to or contributing to a common fund or enterprise : subject to levy or furnishing a share or contingent contributory allies

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Other Words from contributory

contributorily \ kən-​ˌtri-​byə-​ˈtȯr-​ə-​lē How to pronounce contributorily (audio) \ adverb
was found to be contributorily negligent

Examples of contributory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Murray’s actions carry weight in this case because IPS is raising contributory negligence as a defense. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "A 16-year-old was fatally shot near his Indianapolis high school. Is the school liable?," 26 June 2019 East Asia tends to favour non-contributory pensions. The Economist, "How developing countries weave social safety nets," 12 Apr. 2018 His style of play -- more taxing than Federer -- is arguably a contributory factor in his litany of injuries while Nadal has more than once said there are too many hard-court tournaments. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Rafael Nadal 'living with pain and painkillers since 2005'," 16 Mar. 2018 Disney also argued Redbox was encouraging customers to infringe its copyrights, which could make Redbox liable under the doctrine of contributory infringement. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How a fight over Star Wars download codes could reshape copyright law," 23 Feb. 2018 In response, Disney claimed these resales constituted contributory copyright infringement, a breach of contract, interference, false advertising and unfair competition. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Disney Misused 'Star Wars,' 'Frozen' Copyrights, Says Judge," 21 Feb. 2018 Governments, in turn, have launched a patchwork of non-contributory benefits for the mass of informals, undermining the point of enrolling in social security. The Economist, "BelloWhy it’s hard to reduce informality in Latin America’s labour market," 15 Feb. 2018 The Paco and Pinellas Counties Chief Medical Examiner Jon Thogmartin determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma with drowning considered to be a contributory factor. Phil Mccausland, NBC News, "Pitcher Roy Halladay had morphine, Ambien in system when he crashed his plane," 19 Jan. 2018 Filed in September 2016, the original lawsuit asserted a straight copyright infringement claim as well as claims for contributory copyright infringement, vicarious copyright infringement and inducement of copyright infringement. Marc Schneider, Billboard, "Popular YouTube Stream Ripping Site to Shut Down," 5 Sep. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for contributory

Last Updated

2 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for contributory

The first known use of contributory was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of contributory

: helping to cause something
: paid for by both the employee and employer


con·​trib·​u·​to·​ry | \ kən-ˈtri-byə-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce contributory (audio) \

Legal Definition of contributory

1 : characterized by or making contributions to a common fund or enterprise specifically : of, relating to, or being an employee benefit plan to which both employers and employees make contributions
2 : helping to bring about an end or result contributory infringement

More from Merriam-Webster on contributory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with contributory

Britannica English: Translation of contributory for Arabic Speakers

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