noun (plural tributaries)
- 1A river or stream flowing into a larger river or lake: the Illinois River, a tributary of the MississippiMore 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.
- 2 • historical A person or state that pays tribute to another state or ruler: tributaries of the Ottoman EmpireMore 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.