[ uh-skrahyb ]
See synonyms for: ascribeascribedascribable on

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.

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

synonym study For ascribe

1. See attribute.

Other words from ascribe

  • a·scrib·a·ble, adjective
  • un·as·cribed, adjective

Words that may be confused with ascribe

Words Nearby ascribe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ascribe in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ascribe


/ (əˈskraɪb) /

  1. to credit or assign, as to a particular origin or period: to ascribe parts of a play to Shakespeare

  2. to attribute as a quality; consider as belonging to: to ascribe beauty to youth

Origin of ascribe

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

usage For ascribe

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

Derived forms of ascribe

  • ascribable, adjective

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