Definition of contributory in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /kənˈtrɪbjʊt(ə)ri/


1Playing a part in bringing something about: smoking may be a contributory cause of the disease
More example sentences
  • Indeed, in many respects, it was a significant contributory factor in bringing it to an end.
  • His looks are important, a contributory factor to the success that has made him one of Britain's best known television actors and a regular on the chat-show circuit.
  • When we talk about speed being a significant contributory factor in accident casualty rates that is exactly what we mean.
2(Of a pension or insurance scheme) operated by means of a fund into which people pay: contributory benefits
More example sentences
  • Although less common than 20 years ago many large companies operate a contributory pension fund on behalf of their employees.
  • We offer an excellent benefits package including contributory pension scheme, life assurance and private medical cover.
  • In return, the Company offers a competitive salary, a contributory Pension Scheme, life insurance and a company car.

noun (plural contributories)

Law , British
A person liable to give money towards the payment of a wound-up company’s debts.
Example sentences
  • In reaching that decision, the court may have to weigh the different interests of creditors and contributories and, perhaps, the different interests of preferential and non-preferential creditors.
  • The court may, as to all matters relating to the winding up of a company, have regard to the wishes of the creditors or contributories of the company, as proved to it by any sufficient evidence.
  • The general body of contributories can have no interest in the case, except such interest as they have through the company.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'contributing to a fund'): from medieval Latin contributorius, from Latin contribut- 'added' (see contribution).

Words that rhyme with contributory

retributory, tributary
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.