What does tributary mean?

Definitions for tributary
ˈtrɪb yəˌtɛr itrib·u·ta·ry

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word tributary.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. feeder, tributary, confluent, affluentadjective

    a branch that flows into the main stream

  2. tributaryadjective

    (of a stream) flowing into a larger stream

  3. tributaryadjective

    paying tribute

    "a tributary colony"

  4. conducive, contributing(a), contributive, contributory, tributaryadjective

    tending to bring about; being partly responsible for

    "working conditions are not conducive to productivity"; "the seaport was a contributing factor in the growth of the city"; "a contributory factor"


  1. tributarynoun

    A river that flows into a larger river or other body of water.

  2. tributarynoun

    A nation, state, or other entity that pays tribute.

  3. tributaryadjective

    Related to the paying of tribute.

  4. Etymology: From tributarie, from tributarius, from tributum.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tributaryadjective

    Etymology: tributaire, Fr. tributarius, Lat.

    Thenceforth this land was tributary made
    T’ ambitious Rome, and did their rule obey,
    Till Arthur all that reckoning did defray:
    Yet oft the Briton kings against them strongly sway’d. Fairy Queen, b. ii.

    The two great empires of the world I know;
    And since the earth none larger does afford,
    This Charles is some poor tributary lord. Dryden.

    Around his throne the sea-born brothers stood,
    That swell with tributary urns his flood. Alexander Pope.

    These he, to grace his tributary gods,
    By course commits to several government,
    And gives them leave to wear their saphire crowns,
    And wield their little tridents. John Milton, Comus.

    O’er Judah’s king ten thousand tyrants reign,
    Legions of lust, and various pow’rs of ill
    Insult the master’s tributary will. Matthew Prior.

    Nor flatt’ry tunes these tributary lays. Matthew Concanen.

  2. Tributarynoun

    One who pays a stated sum in acknowledgement of subjection.

    Etymology: from tribute.

    All the people therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and serve thee. Deut. xx. 11.

    The Irish lords did only promise to become tributaries to king Henry the second: and such as only pay tribute, are not properly subjects but sovereigns. Davies.


  1. tributary

    A tributary is a stream or river that flows into a larger river or a lake, contributing to its water supply. It does not flow directly into the sea.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tributaryadjective

    paying tribute to another, either from compulsion, as an acknowledgment of submission, or to secure protection, or for the purpose of purchasing peace

  2. Tributaryadjective

    hence, subject; subordinate; inferior

  3. Tributaryadjective

    paid in tribute

  4. Tributaryadjective

    yielding supplies of any kind; serving to form or make up, a greater object of the same kind, as a part, branch, etc.; contributing; as, the Ohio has many tributary streams, and is itself tributary to the Mississippi

  5. Tributarynoun

    a ruler or state that pays tribute, or a stated sum, to a conquering power, for the purpose of securing peace and protection, or as an acknowledgment of submission, or for the purchase of security

  6. Tributarynoun

    a stream or river flowing into a larger river or into a lake; an affluent


  1. Tributary

    A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem river serve to drain the surrounding drainage basin of its surface water and groundwater by leading the water out into an ocean or sea. A confluence, where two or more bodies of water meet together, usually refers to the joining of tributaries. The opposite to a tributary is a distributary, a river or stream that branches off from and flows away from the main stream. Distributaries are most often found in river deltas.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. tributary

    Any stream, large or small, which directly or indirectly joins another stream.

How to pronounce tributary?

How to say tributary in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tributary in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tributary in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

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Translations for tributary

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"tributary." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 25 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tributary>.

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