[ US /ˈtɹɪbjəˌtɛɹi/ ]
[ UK /tɹˈɪbjuːtəɹi/ ]
  1. (of a stream) flowing into a larger stream
  2. paying tribute
    a tributary colony
  3. tending to bring about; being partly responsible for
    the seaport was a contributing factor in the growth of the city
    a contributory factor
    working conditions are not conducive to productivity
  1. a branch that flows into the main stream
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How To Use tributary In A Sentence

  • Fossils of a previously unknown species, which is believed to have belonged to the herbivorous sauropod diplodocus family, were found along the banks of a tributary of the Amazon river in the northern state of Maranhao.
  • Fieldwork was planned to coincide with high tides, which allowed the johnboat to travel closer to the marsh edge and further up tributary creeks.
  • Over the divide at the head of this creek is a tributary of the Big Windy. THE END OF THE STORY
  • Union that the capital resource of commercial imposts, which is the most convenient branch of revenue, can be prudently improved to a much greater extent under federal than under State regulation, and of course will render it less necessary to recur to more inconvenient methods; and with this further advantage, that as far as there may be any real difficulty in the exercise of the power of internal taxation, it will impose a disposition to greater care in the choice and arrangement of the means; and must naturally tend to make it a fixed point of policy in the national administration to go as far as may be practicable in making the luxury of the rich tributary to the public treasury, in order to diminish the necessity of those impositions which might create dissatisfaction in the poorer and most numerous classes of the society. The Federalist Papers
  • The environment is interpreted as a dominantly subaqueous delta top, similar to the modern Mississippi but with meandering distributary channels.
  • Aerial surveys revealed that a small Rhine tributary had once carved an island here, and the silted channel was promptly dredged.
  • Floodwater from this growing lake moved up tributary rivers.
  • The site was selected, in part, because of the deeply incised valley through which the Cohoke Creek, a tributary of the Pamunkey River, flows.
  • This is a very pleasant descent down a tributary valley with the distinctive spur known as the Tongue prominent on the opposite side of the stream.
  • The tributary debouched into the big river
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