con·​trib·​ute kən-ˈtri-(ˌ)byüt How to pronounce contribute (audio)
 also and especially before -​ed or -​ing  -ˈtri-bət;
 chiefly British also  ˈkän-trə-ˌbyüt
contributed; contributing; contributes
transitive + intransitive : to give or supply (something, such as money or time) as a part or share
contribute money to a cause
contributed canned goods to the food drive
What percentage of your pay should you contribute to your 401(k)?
We'd like to thank all who contributed their time and effort.
I'm happy to attend, but I don't have much to contribute to the discussion.
Many people contributed to the fund-raising campaign.
If you are a parent, success is probably defined by how well your children turned out. Are they happy, successful adults? Do they contribute to society in a positive way?Bill Nordbrock
transitive + intransitive : to supply (something, such as an article) for a publication
He contributed several poems to the magazine.
The following authors contributed to this issue: …
intransitive : to play a significant part in making something happen
Many players have contributed to the team's success.
"We cannot address climate change without looking at all the components that are contributing to the problem of emissions."Tony de Brum

Example Sentences

The volunteers contributed their time towards cleaning up the city. We're trying to raise money for a new school, and we're hoping that everyone will contribute. He did not contribute to the project. In order for the team to win, everyone has to contribute. He contributed many poems to the magazine. Ten scientists contributed to the special edition of the journal. See More
Recent Examples on the Web While speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine last week, Cleveland general manager Andrew Berry said Ford should have more chances to contribute to the Browns’ offense in the coming season, perhaps as the third-down back. Mark Inabinett |, al, 11 Mar. 2023 Nominees get a plot of land in Australia that is intended to contribute to reforestation efforts. Prarthana Prakash, Fortune, 11 Mar. 2023 Here are some tips for how to contribute to your retirement while slowing down: Automate your savings. Andrew Rosen, Forbes, 9 Mar. 2023 Smith also invited contemporary artists like Mickalene Thomas and Chéri Samba to contribute works of their own in response to Picasso’s oeuvre. Elle Decor Editors, ELLE Decor, 8 Mar. 2023 Western allies have repeatedly called on South Korea to contribute more to the war effort in Ukraine. Diego Lasarte, Quartz, 8 Mar. 2023 Second, pornography addiction can cause anxiety and depression, which are known to contribute to ED. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 7 Mar. 2023 Stripped of its context and underlying intent, that message can carry a powerful resonance for Chinese Americans and expatriates keen to contribute to nation-building back home. Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2023 Tiny explosions, like those created by other kinds of small solar events, have never been shown to meaningfully contribute to the energy of the sun’s atmosphere. Katrina Miller, WIRED, 7 Mar. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contribute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin contributus, past participle of contribuere, from com- + tribuere to grant — more at tribute

First Known Use

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of contribute was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near contribute

Cite this Entry

“Contribute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​trib·​ute kən-ˈtrib-yət How to pronounce contribute (audio)
contributed; contributing
: to give along with others
contribute money to a cause
: to have a part in bringing about something
everybody contributed to the success of the show
: to submit articles to a publication
contributor noun

Legal Definition


contributed; contributing

transitive verb

: to make a contribution of

intransitive verb

: to make a contribution

More from Merriam-Webster on contribute

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