chip in

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verb (adverb) informal
to contribute (money, time, etc) to a cause or fund
(intr) to interpose a remark or interrupt with a remark
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


What does chip in mean?

Chip in means to contribute something, such as money or time, to a cause or fund, as in Every member of the team chipped in to help pay for the coach’s surgery. 

In this sense, chip in can also mean to contribute advice or wisdom, as in We all chipped in with suggestions for the band’s name. 

Related to this, chip in can also mean to add poker chips or money to a bet in a poker game or similar, as in The shrewd gambler chipped in another $50 after calling the bet. 

To chip in can mean to interrupt with a comment or remark, similar to chime in, as in We were having a pleasant conversation until the rude stranger decided to chip in. 

Example: We can fix up this old house if we all chip in and work together. 

Where does chip in come from?

The first records of the contribute sense of chip in come from around 1861, while the first records of the interruption sense come from around 1870 and the betting sense come from around 1891. Author Mark Twain used the term in his book Roughing It (1872).

Chip in is a common term used in discussions of charity or fundraising drives. You can use it to try to persuade people to help or contribute something. If you’re trying to raise support for a charity, it can help to remind people that everyone’s contributions will add up to accomplish something big, as in We can save the park if we all just chip in a little bit of money. 

Did you know … ?

What are some synonyms for chip in?

What are some words that share a root or word element with chip in

What are some words that often get used in discussing chip in?

How is chip in used in real life?

Chip in is a common term that is most often used to describe group efforts or people helping out a cause.

Try using chip in!

Is chip in used correctly in the following sentence?

The entire community chipped in to donate to the endangered wildlife fund.

How to use chip in in a sentence

Other Idioms and Phrases with chip in

chip in


Contribute money, help, or advice, as in If we all chip in we'll have enough to buy a suitable gift, or Everyone chipped in with ideas for the baby shower. Mark Twain used this term in Roughing It (1872): “I'll be there and chip in and help, too.” [Mid-1800s]


In poker and other games, to put up chips or money as one's bet. For example, I'll chip in another hundred but that's my limit or, as Bret Harte put it in Gabriel Conroy (1876): “You've jest cut up thet rough with my higher emotions, there ain't enough left to chip in on a ten-cent ante.” [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.