Share this entry

Share this page

tributary

Line breaks: tribu|tary
Pronunciation: /ˈtrɪbjʊt(ə)ri
 
/

Definition of tributary in English:

noun (plural tributaries)

1A river or stream flowing into a larger river or lake: the Illinois River, a tributary of the Mississippi
More example sentences
  • To venture into the almost trackless south of the Rufiji River; to the network of tributaries and oxbow lakes is truly wild.
  • The mighty Rufiji River is the lifeblood of the reserve and its numerous tributaries and oxbow lakes are ideal for boat safaris.
  • Bags of household rubbish have been dumped into two streams - tributaries of the River Dalgan - while others have been thrown across fences and gateways into private property.
Synonyms
North American & Australian/New Zealand creek
technical influent
rare confluent
2 historical A person or state that pays tribute to another state or ruler: tributaries of the Ottoman Empire
More example sentences
  • Wallachia and Moldavia became tributaries of the Ottoman Empire from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries, but kept their own princes.
  • The local tributary rulers were deposed because they refused to pay their dues, and the ruler of Gilan was making overtures to the Ottomans.
  • They had established their rule on the coast of Ceylon and had intervened with military force in dynastic disputes in Java, eventually making the island's rulers tributaries of the company.

Origin

late Middle English (in sense 2): from Latin tributarius, from tributum (see tribute). sense 1 dates from the early 19th century.

Words that rhyme with tributary

contributory, retributory

Definition of tributary in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…