- a stream that flows to a larger stream or other body of water.
- a person or nation that pays tribute in acknowledgment of subjugation or the like.
- (of a stream) flowing into a larger stream or other body of water.
- furnishing subsidiary aid; contributory.
- paying or required to pay tribute.
- paid as tribute.
- subject; subordinate: a tributary nation.
Origin of tributary
Examples from the Web for tributary
The village sits along a narrowing vein of the Rio Negro, a tributary of the mighty Amazon.Bye Bye Latté, Hello Guayusa: Why The Amazon Holds the Secret to a Cleaner, Healthier Caffeine
August 29, 2014
But I had to find my way into another passion, and with the art, it was a river flowing into a tributary.Painting for Pleasure
May 6, 2010
It proved to be the Rio Virgen --a tributary to the Colorado.The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California
Brevet Col. J.C. Fremont
There was one gap in the furze at the mouth of a tributary ghyll.
They had a tributary of the Wyth River to pass on the way to Mattha's house.
We reached it just above the mouth of the Reed River, tributary from the north.Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled
As a result of this the emperor held all Sicily subject and tributary to himself.Procopius
- a stream, river, or glacier that feeds another larger one
- a person, nation, or people that pays tribute
- (of a stream, etc) feeding a larger stream
- given or owed as a tribute
- paying tribute
Word Origin and History for tributary
late 14c., "paying tribute," from Latin tributarius "liable to tax or tribute," from tributum (see tribute). The noun sense of "one who pays tribute" is recorded from early 15c. Meaning "stream that flows into a larger body" is from 1822, from the adjective, which is recorded from 1610s in this sense.
- A stream that flows into a river, a larger stream, or a lake.