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trib·ute (trĭbyt)
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n.
1. A gift, payment, declaration, or other acknowledgment of gratitude, respect, or admiration: put up a plaque as a tribute to his generosity.
2. Evidence attesting to some praiseworthy quality or characteristic: Winning the scholarship was a tribute to her hard work.
3.
a. A payment in money or other valuables made by one ruler or nation to another in acknowledgment of submission or as the price of protection or security.
b. A tax imposed for such payment.
4. Any payment exacted for protection.
5.
a. A payment or tax given by a feudal vassal to an overlord.
b. The obligation to make such a payment.

[Middle English tribut, from Old French, from Latin tribūtum, from neuter past participle of tribuere, to pay, distribute, from tribus, tribe; see TRIBE.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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