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90s Slang You Should Know


[uh-skrahyb] /əˈskraɪb/
verb (used with object), ascribed, ascribing.
to credit or assign, as to a cause or source; attribute; impute:
The alphabet is usually ascribed to the Phoenicians.
to attribute or think of as belonging, as a quality or characteristic:
They ascribed courage to me for something I did out of sheer panic.
Origin of ascribe
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin ascrībere, equivalent to a- a-5 + scrībere to scribe2; replacing Middle English ascrive < Middle French. See shrive
Related forms
ascribable, adjective
unascribed, adjective
Can be confused
ascribe, proscribe, subscribe.
Synonym Study
1. See attribute. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ascribe
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There are some, on the other hand, who ascribe to the story a deep spiritual meaning.

    Of Six Medival Women Alice Kemp-Welch
  • Our sufficiency is of God, not of ourselves, and to Him we ascribe all honor and glory.

    The Right Knock Helen Van-Anderson
  • If I am still unable to follow the impulse of my heart, I hope you will ascribe it to the state of my eyes.

  • Why, for instance, does he take the trouble to ascribe motives to me that I never dreamed of?

    Story of My Life Helen Keller
  • So might it be possible to ascribe to particular months the tokens with which the obliging sea bestrews the beaches.

    Tropic Days E. J. Banfield
British Dictionary definitions for ascribe


verb (transitive)
to credit or assign, as to a particular origin or period: to ascribe parts of a play to Shakespeare
to attribute as a quality; consider as belonging to: to ascribe beauty to youth
Derived Forms
ascribable, adjective
Usage note
Ascribe is sometimes wrongly used where subscribe is meant: I do not subscribe (not ascribe) to this view
Word Origin
C15: from Latin ascrībere to enrol, from ad in addition + scrībere to write
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for ascribe

to count; to enter into an account

Word Origin

Latin ad- + scribere 'to write'

Usage Note

transitive; used with to's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for ascribe

mid-14c., ascrive, from Old French ascrivre "to inscribe; attribute, impute," from Latin ascribere "to write in, to add to in a writing," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + scribere "to write" (see script (n.)). Spelling restored by 16c. Related: Ascribed; ascribing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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