Definition of attribute in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈtrɪbjuːt/
[with object] (attribute something to)
1Regard something as being caused by: he attributed the firm’s success to the efforts of the managing director his resignation was attributed to stress
More example sentences
  • The firm attributed the profit to rising prices and lower interest payments to its creditors.
  • The firm attributes the loss to its heavy investment in the Special Olympics and its involvement in a number of long-term development projects.
  • The firm attributes its success to a talented staff and an open culture that honors individual creativity and nurtures teamwork.
ascribe, assign, accredit, credit, impute, allot, allocate;
put down to, set down to, chalk up to, lay at the door of, hold responsible for, pin something on, lay something on, place something on;
1.1Ascribe a work or remark to (a particular author, artist, or speaker): the building was attributed to Inigo Jones
More example sentences
  • Until recently, the angriest reaction I ever got to one of my reviews was when I criticised an author for attributing thoughts to Teddy Roosevelt's dog.
  • He never attributed the line to Kennedy in his remarks, nor does the transcribed version of his speech.
  • Willfully to misinterpret a text is akin to attributing an action to the author that he did not commit.
1.2Regard a quality or feature as characteristic of or possessed by: ancient peoples attributed magic properties to certain stones
More example sentences
  • Rather than describing a man's character by attributing various qualities to him, they preferred to exemplify it by saying the sort of things that he might do.
  • Anna now believes that she was in love with a person who really didn't exist - an imaginary person that she created by attributing characteristics to Bill that he didn't actually possess.
  • More grating, though, is the narrator, who is constantly attributing characteristics to these people - wit, say, or charisma, or confidence - which are in no way borne out by anything they say or do.


Pronunciation: /ˈatrɪbjuːt/
1A quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something: flexibility and mobility are the key attributes of Britain’s army
More example sentences
  • He has the height and he is very strong across the chest, shoulders and in the legs - key attributes for good quality rowers.
  • We agreed on the key attributes of the character and the artistic direction.
  • The applicant must show that she has attributes or characteristics which distinguish her from all other persons.
quality, feature, characteristic, trait, element, aspect, property, hallmark, mark, distinction, sign, telltale sign, sure sign;
idiosyncrasy, peculiarity, quirk
1.1A material object recognized as symbolic of a person, especially a conventional object used in art to identify a saint or mythical figure: it was not until the end of the fifteenth century that the sandglass was depicted as the attribute of Father Time
More example sentences
  • The depiction of her as St Margaret shows her in contemporary dress but with the attributes of the saint.
  • Centered on the canvas, each image bears a number of formal attributes associated with conventional portraiture.
  • Mayan examples are identified by glyphs and attributes, and are understood to represent specific subjects.
symbol, indicator, mark, sign, hallmark, trademark, status symbol
2 Computing A piece of information which determines the properties of a field or tag in a database or a string of characters in a display.
Example sentences
  • The destination of the alias is stored in the maildrop attribute.
  • First, you can apply the CSS inline using the style attribute on any tag.
  • You'll have to tolerate the error messages concerned with the attributes.
3 Grammar An attributive adjective or noun.
4 Statistics A real property which a statistical analysis is attempting to describe.
Example sentences
  • Nest attributes used in the statistical analyses were measured at the start of the first film.
  • This does not mean that individuals have the attributes of the statistical group.
  • Metadata is a set of attributes used to describe an object.


Late 15th century: the noun from Old French attribut; the verb from Latin attribut- 'allotted': both from the verb attribuere, from ad- 'to' + tribuere 'assign'.

Words that rhyme with attribute

contribute, tribute

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: at¦trib|ute

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