tribute

noun
trib·​ute | \ ˈtri-(ˌ)byüt How to pronounce tribute (audio) , -byət\

Definition of tribute

1a : something given or contributed voluntarily as due or deserved especially : a gift or service showing respect, gratitude, or affection a floral tribute
b : something (such as material evidence or a formal attestation) that indicates the worth, virtue, or effectiveness of the one in question the design is a tribute to his ingenuity
2a : a payment by one ruler or nation to another in acknowledgment of submission or as the price of protection also : the tax levied for such a payment
b(1) : an excessive tax, rental, or tariff imposed by a government, sovereign, lord, or landlord
(2) : an exorbitant charge levied by a person or group having the power of coercion
c : the liability to pay tribute

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for tribute

encomium, eulogy, panegyric, tribute, citation mean a formal expression of praise. encomium implies enthusiasm and warmth in praising a person or a thing. received encomiums from literary critics eulogy applies to a prepared speech or writing extolling the virtues and services of a person. delivered the eulogy at the funeral service panegyric suggests an elaborate often poetic compliment. her lyrical memoir was a panegyric to her mentor tribute implies deeply felt praise conveyed either through words or through a significant act. the concert was a musical tribute to the early jazz masters citation applies to the formal praise of a person offered in a military dispatch or in awarding an honorary degree. earned a citation for bravery

Did You Know?

Tribute originally took the form of things given from a weaker group to the dominant power of a region—a bit like the "protection money" the Mafia gets from small businesses after making them offers they can't refuse, though the older form of tribute actually did buy the weaker group some protection from enemy forces. Tribute could come in the form of valuables, cattle, or even produce, and might include the loan of warriors to strengthen the ruler's army. But when we "pay tribute" today, it's generally in the form of praise. And when we say, for instance, that a successful school "is a tribute to" the vision of its founder, we mean that its success is itself a form of praise for the person who founded it. And a "tribute band" is a rock group intended to honor a great band of the past.

Examples of tribute in a Sentence

The concert was a tribute to the musician. Yellow ribbons were tied on trees as a tribute to the soldiers at war. an event at which artists and musicians paid tribute to the famous composer The country was forced to pay tribute. The ruler paid a tribute every year.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Marchers and onlookers took over much of midtown Manhattan with a procession that lasted hours and paid tribute to the uprising that began at the tavern when patrons resisted officers on June 28, 1969. Anchorage Daily News, "NYC pride parade is one of largest in movement’s history," 1 July 2019 Marchers and onlookers took over much of midtown Manhattan with a procession that lasted hours and paid tribute to the uprising that began at the tavern when patrons resisted officers on June 28, 1969. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Pose' Cast, Andy Cohen Among Stars Taking Part in New York's Pride Parade," 1 July 2019 The Panthers’ next home game was eight days later, and Luongo spoke for three minutes in a pregame on-ice ceremony that paid tribute to the victims. Tim Reynolds, sun-sentinel.com, "Panthers’ Luongo retires: ‘My body was telling me it just needed a rest’," 26 June 2019 YouTube stars, like James Charles and Pewdiepie, are paying tribute to the late gamer. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "YouTube Star Etika Has Been Found Dead and Pewdiepie and James Charles Pay Tribute To Him," 26 June 2019 The singer debuted her second collection for Fenty on June 18, which paid tribute to immigrants like herself with a special T-shirt featuring the origin and definition of the word immigrant on it. Alexis Reliford, refinery29.com, "Rihanna Made Her View On Trump's Immigration Policies Loud & Clear," 25 June 2019 During a visit to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to pay tribute to Canadian military personnel serving in Afghanistan in 2008, Prince Edward received an unexpected gift from Manitoba Premier Gary Doer, according to The Vancouver Sun. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "Who Is the Queen's Youngest Granddaughter, Lady Louise Windsor," 24 June 2019 Social Hour Rapper Buffalo Stille of Louisville group Nappy Roots dropped a new track paying tribute to the Cardinals' 2013 national championship. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Morning Coffee: Will Louisville basketball prospect Jay Scrubb choose the NBA over college?," 24 June 2019 Sandor then presented video tributes to Favreau from actors Albert Brooks, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Holland and Scarlett Johansson. Candace Jordan, chicagotribune.com, "Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau light up Gene Siskel Film Center Gala," 21 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tribute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of tribute

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for tribute

Middle English tribut, from Latin tributum, from neuter of tributus, past participle of tribuere to allot, bestow, grant, pay, from tribus tribe

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tribute

Statistics for tribute

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tribute

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tribute

tribute

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tribute

: something that you say, give, or do to show respect or affection for someone
: something that proves the good quality or effectiveness of something
: money or goods that a ruler or country gives to another ruler or country especially for protection

tribute

noun
trib·​ute | \ ˈtri-byüt How to pronounce tribute (audio) \

Kids Definition of tribute

1 : something done, said, or given to show respect, gratitude, or affection
2 : a payment made by one ruler or state to another especially to gain peace

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on tribute

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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