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See more synonyms for ascribe on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), as·cribed, as·crib·ing.
  1. to credit or assign, as to a cause or source; attribute; impute: The alphabet is usually ascribed to the Phoenicians.
  2. 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.
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Origin of ascribe

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin ascrībere, equivalent to a- a-5 + scrībere to scribe2; replacing Middle English ascrive < Middle French. See shrive
Related formsa·scrib·a·ble, adjectiveun·as·cribed, adjective
Can be confusedascribe proscribe subscribe

Synonym study

1. See attribute.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ascribable

detectable, identifiable, attributable, trackable, accountable, derivative, verifiable, ascribable, referable

Examples from the Web for ascribable

Historical Examples of ascribable

  • Are these miraculous revelations that we hear of ascribable to evil influences?

    Gerald Fitzgerald

    Charles James Lever

  • Perhaps to some extent this is ascribable to the influence of the genius loci.

    A Civil Servant in Burma

    Herbert Thirkel White

  • Who could say whether his silence were ascribable to the absence of danger, or to his own absence?

    Wieland; or The Transformation

    Charles Brockden Brown

  • They are not ascribable to the purely intellectual movement alone, though it is no doubt an essential factor.

  • The third portion, or epilogue, appears to be ascribable chiefly to the genial love of Homer for the horse.

British Dictionary definitions for ascribable


verb (tr)
  1. to credit or assign, as to a particular origin or periodto ascribe parts of a play to Shakespeare
  2. to attribute as a quality; consider as belonging toto ascribe beauty to youth
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Derived Formsascribable, adjective

Word Origin for ascribe

C15: from Latin ascrībere to enrol, from ad in addition + scrībere to write


Ascribe is sometimes wrongly used where subscribe is meant: I do not subscribe (not ascribe) to this view
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

Word Origin and History for ascribable


1670s, from ascribe + -able. Related: Ascribably; ascribability.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper