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

Other Words from contributory

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

Examples of contributory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And the Fed’s supposedly contributory policy moves were far too small to matter. Laurence Kotlikoff, Forbes, 11 July 2022 The report highlights the lack of female representation among both founders and investors as a contributory cause. Adi Gaskell, Forbes, 4 July 2022 The easiest Roth option (if your income is on the lower side) is a simple contributory Roth. Leon Labrecque, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 Your genotypic score for conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, summarizing the effects of many contributory genes, could prompt doctors to start monitoring you early. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2021 In other words, ending the $300 benefit appears to be only a small, contributory factor to the labor shortage. Shahar Ziv, Forbes, 14 June 2021 By connecting their product with a noble social cause, Coolhaus is effectively inspiring contributory consumption amongst consumers. Simon Mainwaring, Forbes, 14 June 2021 At the time, the U.S. regulatory approach itself was identified as a huge contributory problem. University Of Houston Energy Fellows, Forbes, 6 May 2021 That last contributory condition had not been raised by an expert before, and several jurors jotted down notes. Eric Ferkenhoff, USA TODAY, 21 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of contributory

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

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

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contributory mortgage

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Last Updated

20 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Contributory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for contributory


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for contributory

Britannica English: Translation of contributory for Arabic Speakers


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