- 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 attributingtrace, associate, blame, credit, connect, apply, refer, charge, impute, lay, reference, accredit
Examples from the Web for attributing
Contemporary Examples of attributing
He is taking all the merit and attributing all the disasters to others.Super Mario’s Parting Shots at Silvio Berlusconi
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 29, 2012
Attributing the last four years to either Republicans or Democrats is myopic American parochialism.Who's Fault the Financial Crisis?
November 21, 2012
But I know by now to be very careful about attributing too much significance to a report like that.Does the Slut Gene Exist?
December 7, 2010
Historical Examples of attributing
We are, however, attributing too much to this formidable power.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
The answer is, that in these and all other determinations of any notion we are attributing to it 'Not-being.'Sophist
You may persist, if you will, in attributing to me wrongs I never inflicted.Tom Burke Of "Ours", Volume II (of II)
Charles James Lever
I did not heed the threat at the time, attributing it to temper.Walter and the Wireless
Sara Ware Bassett
But these are my own reflections and I am by no means sure that I am right in attributing them to him.The Works of Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
- (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
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.