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[trib-yoot] /ˈtrɪb yut/
a gift, testimonial, compliment, or the like, given as due or in acknowledgment of gratitude or esteem.
a stated sum or other valuable consideration paid by one sovereign or state to another in acknowledgment of subjugation or as the price of peace, security, protection, or the like.
a rent, tax, or the like, as that paid by a subject to a sovereign.
any exacted or enforced payment or contribution.
obligation or liability to make such payment.
Origin of tribute
1300-50; Middle English tribut < Latin tribūtum a levied payment, noun use of neuter of past participle of tribuere to assign, allot, derivative of tribus tribe
1. recognition, commendation, eulogy. 4. levy, toll, impost, duty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tribute
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is a tribute to the memory and worth of one of his early friends at Eton.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • I noted the tribute to the staid painter, and nodded approvingly.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • The tribute that we pay to achievements that resembles, but do not equal, our own.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • Sabbath or no Sabbath, the Glen cannot let him pass without some tribute of their pride.

  • The bosom received this tribute in its most engaging manner.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
British Dictionary definitions for tribute


a gift or statement made in acknowledgment, gratitude, or admiration
  1. a payment by one ruler or state to another, usually as an acknowledgment of submission
  2. any tax levied for such a payment
(in feudal society) homage or a payment rendered by a vassal to his lord
the obligation to pay tribute
Word Origin
C14: from Latin tribūtum, from tribuere to grant (originally: to distribute among the tribes), from tribustribe
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
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Word Origin and History for tribute

mid-14c., "tax paid to a ruler or master for security or protection," from Latin tributum "tribute," literally "a thing contributed or paid," noun use of tributus, neuter past participle of tribuere "to pay, assign, grant," also "allot among the tribes or to a tribe," from tribus (see tribe). Sense of "offering, gift, token" is first recorded 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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