noun (1)
tri·​bune | \ ˈtri-ˌbyün How to pronounce tribune (audio) , tri-ˈbyün \

Definition of tribune

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a Roman official under the monarchy and the republic with the function of protecting the plebeian citizen from arbitrary action by the patrician magistrates
2 : an unofficial defender of the rights of the individual


noun (2)

Definition of tribune (Entry 2 of 2)

: a dais or platform from which an assembly is addressed

Other Words from tribune

Noun (1)

tribuneship \ ˈtri-​ˌbyün-​ˌship How to pronounce tribuneship (audio) , tri-​ˈbyün-​ \ noun

First Known Use of tribune

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

circa 1771, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tribune

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Latin tribunus, from tribus tribe

Noun (2)

French, from Italian tribuna, from Latin tribunal

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tribune

Time Traveler for tribune

Time Traveler

The first known use of tribune was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for tribune

Cite this Entry

“Tribune.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tribune

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tribune

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tribune

Britannica English: Translation of tribune for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about tribune

Comments on tribune

What made you want to look up tribune? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!