To contribute something is to provide a part of the whole. When your company has their annual softball game and potluck picnic, you will probably be asked to contribute a dish, like your famous macaroni salad.

Contribute comes from a Latin word that means “to bring together, add, or unite.” When you contribute to a cause, you are adding to what other people have kicked in, which makes the effort complete. You can contribute your singing talent to a traveling a cappella group; you can contribute money or time to save rhinoceroses; you can contribute cupcakes to the gymnastics team bake sale; or you can even contribute ideas on healthcare reform to a Washington think tank.

Definitions of contribute
  1. verb
    synonyms: put up
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    type of:
    give money, usually in exchange for goods or services
  2. verb
    contribute to some cause
    synonyms: chip in, give, kick in
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    add together from different sources
    type of:
    transfer possession of something concrete or abstract to somebody
  3. verb
    bestow a quality on
    synonyms: add, bestow, bring, impart, lend
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    be a contributing factor
    instill, transfuse
    impart gradually
    impart a cheap brightness to
    throw in
    add as an extra or as a gratuity
    impart as if by breathing
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  4. verb
    be conducive to
    synonyms: conduce, lead
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    type of:
    advance, boost, encourage, further, promote
    contribute to the progress or growth of
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