verb (used with object), im·put·ed, im·put·ing.

to attribute or ascribe: The children imputed magical powers to the old woman.
to attribute or ascribe (something discreditable), as to a person.
Law. to ascribe to or charge (a person) with an act or quality because of the conduct of another over whom one has control or for whose acts or conduct one is responsible.
Theology. to attribute (righteousness, guilt, etc.) to a person or persons vicariously; ascribe as derived from another.
Obsolete. to charge (a person) with fault.

Origin of impute

1325–75; Middle English imputen < Latin imputāre, equivalent to im- im-1 + putāre to assess, reckon, think; see putative
Related formsim·put·a·ble, adjectiveim·put·a·tive [im-pyoo-tuh-tiv] /ɪmˈpyu tə tɪv/, adjectiveim·put·a·tive·ly, adverbim·put·a·tive·ness, nounim·put·ed·ly, adverbim·put·er, nounnon·im·put·a·ble, adjectivenon·im·put·a·ble·ness, nounnon·im·put·a·bly, adverbnon·im·put·a·tive, adjectivenon·im·put·a·tive·ly, adverbnon·im·put·a·tive·ness, nounun·im·put·a·ble, adjective
Can be confusedimpugn impute

Synonym study

1. See attribute. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impute

Contemporary Examples of impute

Historical Examples of impute

  • Desires her to treat her freely; but wishes not that she should impute love to her; and why.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • But I sincerely hope you do not impute improper motives to the incognito?

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Say what you like of the mother, but you shall not impute such motives to Alice.

    Tony Butler

    Charles James Lever

  • The natives, however, impute these defects to the wetness of the season.

  • I impute nothing whatever to him, he was ever most kind to me.

    Apologia Pro Vita Sua

    John Henry Cardinal Newman

British Dictionary definitions for impute


verb (tr)

to attribute or ascribe (something dishonest or dishonourable, esp a criminal offence) to a person
to attribute to a source or causeI impute your success to nepotism
commerce to give (a notional value) to goods or services when the real value is unknown
Derived Formsimputation, nounimputative, adjectiveimputer, noun

Word Origin for impute

C14: from Latin imputāre, from im- + putāre to think, calculate
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

Word Origin and History for impute

early 15c., from Old French imputer (14c.) and directly from Latin imputare "to reckon, make account of, charge, ascribe," from assimilated form of in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + putare "reckon, clear up, trim, prune, settle" (see pave). Related: Imputed; imputing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper