n. pl. trib·u·tar·ies
1. A stream that flows into a larger stream or other body of water.
2. A ruler or nation that pays tribute.
1. Making additions or yielding supplies; contributory.
2. Paid in tribute.
3. Paying tribute: a tributary colony.
[Middle English tributarie, paying tribute, from Latin tribūtārius, from tribūtum, tribute; see TRIBUTE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.