Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    Payment by co-obligors of their several shares of liability; a suit to compel such payment. See 4 Johns. Ch. (N. Y.) 545.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In common law. The sharing of a loss or payment among several. The act of any one or several of a number of co-debtors, co-sureties, etc., in reimbursing one of their number who has paid the whole debt or suffered the whole liability, each to the extent of his proportionate share. Canosia Tp. v. Grand Lake Tp., 80 Minn. 357, 83 N. W. 346; Dysart v. Crow, 170 Mo. 275, 70 S. W. 689; Aspinwall v. Sacchi, 57 N. Y. 336; Vandiver v. Poliak, 107 Ala. 547, 19 South. 180; 54 Am. St Rep. 118. In maritime law. Where the property of one of several parties interested in a vessel and cargo has been voluntarily sacrificed for the common safety, (as by throwing goods overboard to lighten the vessel,) such loss must be made good by the contribution of the others, which is termed "general average." 3 Kent, Comin. 232-244; 1 Story, Eq. Jur. ยง 490. In the civil law. A partition by which the creditors of an insolvent debtor divide among themselves the proceeds of his property proportionality to the amount of their respective credits. Code La. art. 2522, no. 10. Contribution is the division .which is made among the heirs of the succession of the debts with which the succession is charged, according to the proportion which each is bound to bear. Civ. Code La. art. 1420.