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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Allen Water, a major tributary of the South Tyne, offered perfect dry fly fishing.
▪ Dace hard to find, even the Llynfi tributary at Glasbury is giving little.
▪ Fed by different tributaries, as Don F6lix was saying before when he was waxing poetic.
▪ I was on Lyne Water at the time, a tributary of the River Tweed.
▪ Settlement was concentrated in fishing villages on the tributaries of the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon Rivers.
▪ The principal river systems and their major tributaries are described below.
▪ They started in small workshops in the upper course valleys of the River Don and its tributaries, such as the River Sheaf.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Tributary \Trib"u*ta*ry\, a. [OE. tributaire, F. tributaire, L. tributarius. See Tribute.]

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

    [Julius] unto Rome made them tributary.

  2. Hence, subject; subordinate; inferior.

    He to grace his tributary gods.

  3. Paid in tribute. ``Tributary tears.''

  4. 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.


Tributary \Trib"u*ta*ry\, n.; pl. Tributaries.

  1. 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.

  2. A stream or river flowing into a larger river or into a lake; an affluent.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "paying tribute," from Latin tributarius "liable to tax or tribute," from tributum (see tribute).


late 14c., "person, country, etc. owing obedience or paying tribute or a tax to a sovereign or another people," from Latin tributarius (see tributary (adj.)). Meaning "stream that flows into a larger body" is from 1822, from the adjective in this sense, which is recorded from 1610s.\n


a. 1 Related to the paying of tribute. 2 subordinate; inferior 3 Yielding supplies of any kind; serving to form or make up, a greater object of the same kind, as a part, branch, etc.; contributing. n. 1 (senseid en river) A natural water stream that flows into a larger river or other body of water. 2 A nation, state, or other entity that pays tribute.

  1. adj. of a stream; flowing into a larger stream

  2. paying tribute; "a tributary colony"

  3. 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" [syn: conducive, contributing(a), contributive, contributory]

  4. n. a branch that flows into the main stream [syn: feeder, affluent] [ant: distributary]


A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem river drain the surrounding drainage basin of its surface water and groundwater, leading the water out into an ocean.

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.

Tributary (disambiguation)

Tributary may refer to the following:

  • Tributary, a stream or river which flows into another river (a parent river) or body of water but which may not flow directly into the sea
  • Tributary (ballet) by Robert La Fosse and Robert Garland, 2000
  • Tributary, Georgia, an unincorporated community in Douglas County
  • Tributary port, a locally terminated network connection in a ( synchronous optical networking) transport network
  • Tributary state
Tributary (ballet)

Tributary is a ballet made by Robert La Fosse and Robert Garland to Mozart's Divertimento No. 11 in D, K. 251 (1776). The premiere took place on Thursday, 25 May 2000, as part of New York City Ballet's Diamond Project at the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center.

Usage examples of "tributary".

The arroyo would have scores of tributaries spread out across the desert, and many of those tributaries would have tributaries of their own.

Where ravines are he has plumbed lines to bring them to order and know them, has marked them and annotated his drawings, and learning the parameters of the peneplain or open-sided corries, the tributary canyons, creeks, rivers and fern-scruffed pampas, he has made them beautiful.

The Senne, a small tributary of the Scheldt, flows through the lower town, but since 1868 it has been covered in, and some of the finest boulevards in the lower town have been constructed over the course of the little river.

Forcing the Austrians across the Styr in front of Dubno, he advanced along its tributary the Lipa, captured Mikhailovka and Bludov, and then swinging south occupied Berestechko and threatened Brody on the 20th.

The Surma is the chief river, and its principal tributaries from the north are the Jiri and Jatinga, and from the south the Sonai and Daleswari.

The early tributaries of the river Elfinwater rose on Mallorstang ridge and rushed away down between Swarth Fell and Bleak Fell, until at the northern marches of Lallillir the river turned west through the last foothills of Swarth Fell and ran to the sea.

A just sentiment of gratitude would seem to require him--if he has not already done it--to enshrine, with tributary honor, close beside the ashes of the unhappy queen of Holland, those of Madame Salvage, the most unwearied and inalienable of all her friends.

His work was finished in 1067, some thirteen years after Ibn Yasin, the Almoravid ruler of North Africa, had marched southward to invade those lands and had captured Aoudaghast, a tributary city of Ghana.

The delta of the Rio Colorado has always been tricky for to navigate, and they tell me that lately, since your Anglo settlers have been drawing irrigation water from its tributaries, it has gotten worse.

Many hundreds of ruins have been examined by Mr Bandelier, and doubtless the classification above afforded a convenient working basis for the region with which he is most familiar, the basin of the Rio Grande and its tributaries.

It was a long pull from the Beallach to the stream, but there were tributary ravines where the cover was good--always presuming that Palliser-Yeates had decoyed away the navvy guard.

Rhone once received as tributaries all the glaciers coming down into that valley from the southern slope of the Bernese Oberland, and from the northern slope of the Valesian Alps, and at one time also from the eastern slopes of the range of Mont Blanc.

May the Bithynian army crossed into Pontus and reached the Amnias, a tributary of the Halys flowing inland but parallel to the coast around Sinope.

And then he looked at the toilet, and, indeed, there was a crack in the porcelain, starting with a hole the size of a blintz and zigzagging out into a series of tributaries.

That chief summoned his people, and called upon another Sinchi, his tributary, named Chimu Ccapac, chief of the territory where now stands the city of Truxillo on the coast of Peru.