Definition of tributary noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈtrɪbjətri//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈtrɪbjəteri//
(pl. tributaries) Rivers and lakes
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a river or stream that flows into a larger river or a lake Wordfinderbend, course, current, dam, downstream, estuary, river, source, tributary, waterfall See related entries: Rivers and lakes Word Originlate Middle English (originally referring to a person or state that pays tribute to another state or ruler): from Latin tributarius, from tributum, neuter past participle (used as a noun) of tribuere ‘assign’ (originally ‘divide between tribes’), from tribus ‘tribe’. The current sense dates from the early 19th cent.Extra examples The Thames is fed by several small tributaries. Through northern Sudan and Egypt, the Nile is joined by no tributary, flowing as it does through pure desert. We need to monitor the water quality of the tributaries that feed the lake.

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