Definition of tribute in US English:



  • 1An act, statement, or gift that is intended to show gratitude, respect, or admiration.

    ‘the video is a tribute to the musicals of the 40s’
    ‘a symposium organized to pay tribute to Darwin’
    • ‘Mr Noone said he was delighted to be present to pay tribute to an outstanding teacher and principal.’
    • ‘It also helps them pay tribute to the deceased with musical, video, and multimedia presentations.’
    • ‘Outside on the verge bordering The Mall bouquets and tributes from the public were laid out - many from children.’
    • ‘Senator Lott's remarks were intended to pay tribute to a remarkable man who led a remarkable life.’
    • ‘All the plaudits, all the tributes, will be thoroughly deserved and she will be an extremely hard act to follow.’
    • ‘Chicago's most important people were present to pay tribute to Maureen and wish her well on her birthday.’
    • ‘The celebration concluded with musical tributes by Frances McAndrew and Frank Doyle.’
    • ‘He invited those present to examine themselves as the best way to pay tribute to McBurnie.’
    • ‘She said she was genuinely surprised by the size of the turnout, the presentation and the tributes to her.’
    • ‘The visits are not intended to pay tribute to the war criminals, he said.’
    • ‘The conference will pay tribute to Wallenberg and present the latest findings in the ongoing search for the truth.’
    • ‘Replying, John thanked all for the good wishes, the tributes and the gifts.’
    • ‘Many travelled long distances to join in the tributes and pay their respects.’
    • ‘He went on to pay tribute to his uncle, Joe Dunne, who was present at the gathering.’
    • ‘The death of Robin Cook occurred too late last Saturday for me to pay tribute to him, a situation I intend to rectify just now.’
    • ‘Large crowds were present both days to pay their final tributes and respects to Mick O'Brien.’
    • ‘A guard of honour was formed by friends and neighbours as a special tribute and mark of respect.’
    • ‘United fans have paid their respects to Davis with tributes outside the ground.’
    • ‘Many people made the long journey from Donegal to pay their respects and tributes.’
    • ‘Manager Eddie Gray will pay tribute to Charles while a video screen will show footage of the man in action.’
    accolade, praise, commendation, acclaim, acclamation, salute, testimonial, paean, eulogy, panegyric, encomium, homage
    praise, sing the praises of, speak highly of, express admiration of, commend, acclaim, take one's hat off to, applaud, salute, honour, show appreciation of, appreciate, recognize, acknowledge, give recognition to, show gratitude to, be grateful for, pay homage to, extol
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    1. 1.1in singular Something resulting from something else and indicating its worth.
      ‘his victory in the championship was a tribute to his persistence’
      • ‘That we ever reach Spain is a tribute to European road signs, not to our senses of direction.’
      • ‘It is a tribute to Wales that, despite being ravaged by injury, they still have the better players in most of the central command positions.’
      • ‘We all felt that our centre was a very efficient operation, and it's a tribute to the workforce that it's stayed that way right up until today.’
      • ‘This book is a tribute to his own heroism, but Keates also indicates his hesitancies which flowed from his class position.’
      • ‘Mr Oakley said it was a tribute to the safety features built into the car that Mr McNeil was freed with only minor injuries.’
      • ‘That the whole team is behind him is a tribute to his leadership qualities and that means a lot.’
      • ‘It is a tribute to the quality of these games that they survive in this environment and continue to grow.’
      • ‘The festival's success is a tribute to the power and usefulness of well-organized volunteers.’
      • ‘This alone is quite a tribute to some of the less likely manufacturing countries' quality standards.’
      • ‘The ability to recount such episodes was a tribute to his memory as well as a portent of his future vocation.’
      • ‘Yes, and in a sense that may be a tribute to Menzies' close links with Clement Attlee.’
      • ‘Carefully repaired they are a tribute to the quality of the original engineering of the bridge.’
      • ‘It is a tribute to the quality of his unwavering line that neither has become half as hackneyed as it should have done.’
      • ‘This latest boost shows the strength of York's diverse and vibrant economy and is a tribute to all those who work so hard to keep the city in the spotlight.’
      • ‘That we have come so far down that road is a tribute to all those involved, and particularly to the faith communities which have set such a fine example.’
      • ‘Ellen raised a very large family and it is a tribute to her qualities as a great family woman that all of them have gone on to do well for themselves.’
      • ‘The village is looking very well at the moment, a tribute to the community spirit of the people of the Royal Oak and district.’
      • ‘These strengths are a tribute to the skills of United Way's former heads, Gordon Cressy and Ann Golden.’
      • ‘They're a tribute to the quality of talent we've been lucky enough to attract to the channel in its first year.’
      • ‘Its wide-ranging reach is a tribute to the breadth of expertise on the ground as creatives and in the white cube as curators.’
      testimony to, indication of, manifestation of, evidence of, proof of, attestation of
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    2. 1.2as modifier Denoting or relating to a group or musician that performs the music of a more famous one and typically imitates them in appearance and style of performance.
      ‘an Abba tribute band’
      • ‘Because I think benefit / tribute albums are really terrible, usually.’
      • ‘Similar in ambition is "Constellation," a cut that initially appeared on the horribly named Bird Up Charlie Parker tribute album that was released 2003.’
      • ‘Popular Abba tribute band Bjorn Again will be topping the bill at this year's North Wiltshire Festival 2004.’
      • ‘Yes, ladies and gentlemen, another musical first - a tribute record that sounds like it was done by a tribute band.’
      • ‘That's what I was doing last night with some other musos, preparing for a Syd Barrett tribute night this weekend.’
      • ‘"Pickin' on Zeppelin" is a bluegrass Zeppelin tribute album.’
      • ‘The man's 60th birthday has generated dozens of magazine articles, re-issues and tribute discs, in addition to an insightful biography, as he continues to tour around the world.’
  • 2historical Payment made periodically by one state or ruler to another, especially as a sign of dependence.

    ‘the king had at his disposal plunder and tribute amassed through warfare’
    • ‘It was a hallmark of free populations not to pay tribute, fees or taxes of this sort.’
    • ‘Provinces won in war could later be milked of tribute to enrich the Roman state and its rulers and to buy off any risk of discontent at home.’
    • ‘In the north and west where towns and markets were few, plunder and tribute remained central to the circulation of wealth.’
    • ‘The rulers of Champassak and Luang Prabang remained in control but had to pay periodical tribute to Bangkok.’
    • ‘Aztec musicians enjoyed high social prestige and exemption from tribute payments.’
    payment, contribution, dues, levy, tax, duty, impost, tariff, charge
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  • 3historical A proportion of ore or its equivalent, paid to a miner for his work, or to the owner or lessor of a mine.

    • ‘A miner in the tribute team could make a fair bit of money as they were paid by the amount of ore that they shifted.’
    • ‘One of the first changes introduced by Vivian was to put some of the underground miners on tribute.’
    • ‘During 1867 Singleton employed a few miners on tribute working in an open cut.’
    • ‘The miner immediately receives his tribute or percentage for which he agreed to work.’


Late Middle English (in tribute (sense 2)): from Latin tributum, neuter past participle (used as a noun) of tribuere ‘assign’ (originally ‘divide between tribes’), from tribus ‘tribe’.