1. a stream, river, or glacier that feeds another larger one
2. a person, nation, or people that pays tribute
3. (of a stream, etc.) feeding a larger stream
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
a river that flows into another river and usually has a shorter length, less water, and a different valley direction. Tributaries are differentiated according to whether they flow directly into the main river or into its tributaries. Rivers that flow into lakes or other inland waters are sometimes called tributaries.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
A stream that feeds or flows into or joins a larger stream or a lake. Also known as contributory; feeder; side stream; tributary stream.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.