11 Trending Words of 2014


[uh-skrahyb] /əˈskraɪb/
verb (used with object), ascribed, ascribing.
to credit or assign, as to a cause or source; attribute; impute:
The alphabet is usually ascribed to the Phoenicians.
to attribute or think of as belonging, as a quality or characteristic:
They ascribed courage to me for something I did out of sheer panic.
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin ascrībere, equivalent to a- a-5 + scrībere to scribe2; replacing Middle English ascrive < Middle French. See shrive
Related forms
ascribable, adjective
unascribed, adjective
Can be confused
ascribe, proscribe, subscribe.
1. See attribute. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for ascribed
  • They ascribed sinful motivations to normal biological urges.
  • At the time, some common meanings were ascribed to different colors and symbols in the coats and crests.
  • Nor can its survival be ascribed simply to the effective brainwashing of the population.
  • And resistance to this change fuels more reactionary politics than is usually ascribed.
  • The high prices of turpentine are not ascribed to any influence of this combination.
  • To some extent, these troubles can be ascribed to faults in the design of the exchange-rate regime.
  • It all seems a fate ascribed by history in a book written long ago.
  • He ascribed other benefits to the simulcasts this season.
  • Cleverness is unhesitatingly ascribed to the dolphin.
  • To this must be ascribed their disposition to sleep when abstracted from their diversions, and unemployed in labour.
British Dictionary definitions for ascribed


verb (transitive)
to credit or assign, as to a particular origin or period: to ascribe parts of a play to Shakespeare
to attribute as a quality; consider as belonging to: to ascribe beauty to youth
Derived Forms
ascribable, adjective
Usage note
Ascribe is sometimes wrongly used where subscribe is meant: I do not subscribe (not ascribe) to this view
Word Origin
C15: from Latin ascrībere to enrol, from ad in addition + scrībere to write
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
Cite This Source
Contemporary definitions for ascribed

to count; to enter into an account

Word Origin

Latin ad- + scribere 'to write'

Usage Note

transitive; used with to's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ascribed



mid-14c., ascrive, from Old French ascrivre "to inscribe; attribute, impute," from Latin ascribere "to write in, to add to in a writing," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + scribere "to write" (see script (n.)). Spelling restored by 16c. Related: Ascribed; ascribing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for ascribe

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ascribed

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with ascribed

Nearby words for ascribed