[ verb uh-trib-yoot; noun a-truh-byoot ]
/ verb əˈtrɪb yut; noun ˈæ trəˌbyut /
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verb (used with object), at·trib·ut·ed, at·trib·ut·ing.
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.
QUIZ YOURSELF ON “THEIR,” “THERE,” AND “THEY’RE”
Are you aware how often people swap around “their,” “there,” and “they’re”? Prove you have more than a fair grasp over these commonly confused words.
Question 1 of 7
Which one of these commonly confused words can act as an adverb or a pronoun?
Origin of attribute
synonym study for attribute
1. Attribute, ascribe, impute imply definite origin. Attribute and ascribe are often used interchangeably, to imply that something originates with a definite person or from a definite cause. Ascribe, however, has neutral implications; whereas, possibly because of an association with tribute, attribute is coming to have a complimentary connotation: to ascribe an accident to carelessness; to attribute one's success to a friend's encouragement. Impute has gained uncomplimentary connotations, and usually means to accuse or blame someone or something as a cause or origin: to impute an error to him. 5. See quality.
OTHER WORDS FROM attribute
at·trib·ut·a·ble, adjectiveat·trib·ut·er, at·trib·u·tor, nounmis·at·trib·ute, verb, mis·at·trib·ut·ed, mis·at·trib·ut·ing.non·at·trib·ut·a·ble, adjective
re·at·trib·ute, verb (used with object), re·at·trib·ut·ed, re·at·trib·ut·ing.un·at·trib·ut·a·ble, adjectiveun·at·trib·ut·a·bly, adverbun·at·trib·ut·ed, adjectivewell-at·trib·ut·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
British Dictionary definitions for attribute
(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
Derived forms of attributeattributable, adjectiveattributer or attributor, nounattribution (ˌætrɪˈbjuːʃən), noun
Word Origin for attribute
C15: from Latin attribuere to associate with, from tribuere to give
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