- 1 helping to cause something Alcohol is a contributory factor in 10% of all traffic accidents. Smoking is a contributory cause of many diseases. (British English) He was found guilty of contributory negligence (= that helped to cause an accident).
- 2 involving payments from the people who will benefit a contributory pension plan (= paid for by both employers and employees) contributory benefits (= ones that you make payments for) opposite noncontributory
NAmE//kənˈtrɪbyəˌtɔri//[usually before noun]