- to regard as resulting from a specified cause; consider as caused by something indicated (usually followed by to): She attributed his bad temper to ill health.
- to consider as a quality or characteristic of the person, thing, group, etc., indicated: He attributed intelligence to his colleagues.
- to consider as made by the one indicated, especially with strong evidence but in the absence of conclusive proof: to attribute a painting to an artist.
- to regard as produced by or originating in the time, period, place, etc., indicated; credit; assign: to attribute a work to a particular period; to attribute a discovery to a particular country.
- something attributed as belonging to a person, thing, group, etc.; a quality, character, characteristic, or property: Sensitivity is one of his attributes.
- something used as a symbol of a particular person, office, or status: A scepter is one of the attributes of a king.
- Grammar. a word or phrase that is syntactically subordinate to another and serves to limit, identify, particularize, describe, or supplement the meaning of the form with which it is in construction. In the red house, red is an attribute of house.
- Fine Arts. an object associated with or symbolic of a character, office, or quality, as the keys of St. Peter or the lion skin of Hercules.
- Philosophy. (in the philosophy of Spinoza) any of the essential qualifications of God, thought and extension being the only ones known.Compare mode1(def 4b).
- Logic. (in a proposition) that which is affirmed or denied concerning the subject.
- Obsolete. distinguished character; reputation.
Origin of attribute
Related Words for attributepeculiarity, idiosyncrasy, quirk, trait, facet, virtue, aspect, characteristic, quality, trace, associate, blame, credit, connect, apply, refer, point, symbol, character, mark
Examples from the Web for attribute
Contemporary Examples of attribute
We attribute his successes or failures to the presence or lack of some special sauce that he does or does not possess.The Dems’ Midterm Performance Anxiety
October 31, 2014
Sure, Nancy has the fish-out-of-water thing going on, but that attribute often defines Piper.Orange Is the New Weeds: The Adventures of Jenji Kohan Across the 8th Dimension
Rich Goldstein, Emily Shire
August 18, 2014
On the other hand, he has retained an attribute reminiscent of the other ex-fundies.Frank Schaeffer, the Atheist Who Believes in God
August 3, 2014
We attribute no special merit to a man for having served when all were serving.The Real Memorial Day: Oliver Wendell Holmes's Salute To A Momentous American Anniversary
May 26, 2014
They are tall and light-skinned, when compared with other south Indians, and some attribute their appearance to Arab blood.Lush Places: The Scotland of India
March 25, 2014
Historical Examples of attribute
He was very irreligious, and entirely wanting in every attribute of a Christian.Biography of a Slave
I can only attribute it to the love interest associated with the beggar.Yorkshire Painted And Described
Hence, to attribute the support solely to the surface area is erroneous.Flying Machines
W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
The human soul is an attribute of God, as is everything else; it is an attribute of God in His power.Initiation into Philosophy
But, to my shame and confusion, I must say, that I know too well to what to attribute his transports.Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)
- (tr usually foll by to) to regard as belonging (to), produced (by), or resulting (from); ascribe (to)to attribute a painting to Picasso
- a property, quality, or feature belonging to or representative of a person or thing
- an object accepted as belonging to a particular office or position
- an adjective or adjectival phrase
- an attributive adjective
- logic the property, quality, or feature that is affirmed or denied concerning the subject of a proposition
Word Origin for attribute
Word Origin and History for attribute
late 14c., "assign, bestow," from Latin attributus, past participle of attribuere "assign to, add, bestow;" figuratively "to attribute, ascribe, impute," from ad- "to" + tribuere "assign, give, bestow" (see tribute). Related: Attributed; attributing.
"quality ascribed to someone," late 14c., from Latin attributum "anything attributed," noun use of neuter of attributus (see attribute (v.)). Distinguished from the verb by pronunciation.