- 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 attributespeculiarity, idiosyncrasy, quirk, trait, facet, virtue, aspect, characteristic, quality, trace, associate, blame, credit, connect, apply, refer, point, symbol, character, mark
Examples from the Web for attributes
Contemporary Examples of attributes
The Facebook co-founder and his politically ambitious husband embodied all the attributes of a bona fide “gay power couple.”The Rise and Fall of Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge, America’s Worst Gay Power Couple
December 9, 2014
This uniqueness is a trait that she attributes to her early success as a dominatrix.Whip It: Secrets of a Dominatrix
November 25, 2014
He dubbed it Nupedia, and it had two attributes: it would be written by volunteers, and it would be free.You Can Look It Up: The Wikipedia Story
October 19, 2014
But the school has other attributes that may have appealed to the Koch group.At This Creepy Libertarian Charter School, Kids Must Swear ‘to Be Obedient to Those in Authority’
October 15, 2014
He attributes it, in part, to a growing partisan split among voters.Even Local School Board Members Are Running Against Obama
Center for Public Integrity
October 2, 2014
Historical Examples of attributes
With what warmth of benevolence—how should he be otherwise than warm in any of his attributes?Fire Worship (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
But that is one of the attributes of Mr. Gladstone which endear him so much to his party.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
Deep were my musings, as to the race and attributes of that ethereal being.The Vision of the Fountain (From "Twice Told Tales")
Borrowed help has the awkwardness which Emerson attributes to borrowed thoughts.The Conquest of Fear
Its attributes of youth are the activity and eager life with which it is redundant.Sketches from Memory
- (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 attributes
"qualities belonging to someone or something," c.1600; see attribute (n.).
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.