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From Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. An annual or stated sum of money or other valuable thing, paid by one ruler or nation to another, either as an acknowledgment of submission, or as the price of peace and protection, or by virtue of some treaty; as, the romans made their conquered countries pay tribute. Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute. (C. C. Pinckney)

2. A personal contribution, as of money, praise, service, etc, made in token of services rendered, or as that which is due or deserved; as, a tribute of affection. Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. (gray)

3. (Science: chemical) A certain proportion of the ore raised, or of its value, given to the miner as his recompense. Tribute money, money paid as a tribute or tax. Tribute pitch.

(Science: chemical) See tributer.

Synonym: See Subsidy.

Origin: OE. Tribut, L. Tributum, fr. Tribuere, tributum, to bestow, grant, pay, allot, assign, originally, to a tribe, from tribus tribe; cf. F. Tribut. See Tribe, and cf. Attribute, Contribute.