tribute

noun
trib·ute | \ˈtri-(ˌ)byüt, -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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

These were not tributes to elders who had lived long lives. Dan Rodricks, baltimoresun.com, "Where have you gone, Mister Rogers?," 13 July 2018 The Neil Diamond tribute is probably the long-running one. Bill Leukhardt, Courant Community, "Southington Summer Concerts A Big Hit," 13 July 2018 The tribute is meant to honor the contributions Lake made toward arts in Central Florida. Michael Williams, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Dr. Phillips Center to turn pink Friday in honor of Harriett Lake," 13 July 2018 One man whose tribute to Ronaldo was particularly heartfelt was Marcelo, the Brazilian left back, who was among the Portuguese superstar's best friends at Madrid. SI.com, "Real Madrid Star Linked With Juventus Move After Promise of Cristiano Ronaldo Reunion," 13 July 2018 This is not the first time Little Mix has made a tribute to their LGBTQ+ fans. Sofia Mele, Billboard, "Cheat Codes and Little Mix Tell a Mermaid Love Story in Vibrant 'Only You' Video: Watch," 13 July 2018 The Brewers will play their Negro Leagues tribute game at Miller Park on Friday, Aug. 3, against Colorado. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pirates 7, Brewers 3: With four losses in five games on trip, Brewers appear out of steam," 13 July 2018 Pelosi entered the tribute into the record with fellow Bay Area Democratic Reps. Joe Garofoli, SFChronicle.com, "London Breed’s inauguration makes the Congressional Record, thanks to Pelosi," 12 July 2018 This largely hagiographical tribute to the conservative jurist who rivaled and in some respects exceeded Antonin Scalia in influence reads today like an application to consideration for a SCOTUS appointment by a Republican president. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "A 2017 Kavanaugh Speech Will Become a Flash Point in Confirmation Fight," 12 July 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for tribute

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tribute

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

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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 \

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

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Comments on tribute

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