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 Welfare: Claimants of contributory employment and support allowance benefits can claim from day one rather than day eight of being unemployed. Alex Morales,, "Sunak’s ‘Whatever It Takes’ Virus Support Unprecedented in U.K.," 10 May 2020 Unlike the daily numbers produced by the government, the ONS includes deaths in care homes and hospices as well as cases where Covid-19 is only listed as a contributory factor on death certificates. Eddie Spence,, "Pandemic Sends England & Wales Deaths to 20-Year High," 28 Apr. 2020 That's the finding from the National Transportation Safety Board, although the federal agency identified several other contributory causes in its final report submitted on Tuesday. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Driver mostly to blame for fatal self-driving Uber crash, federal safety board finds," 19 Nov. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for contributory

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

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Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contributory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for contributory


How to pronounce contributory (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on contributory

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for contributory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with contributory

Britannica English: Translation of contributory for Arabic Speakers

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