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attribute

[v. uh-trib-yoot; n. a-truh-byoot] /v. əˈtrɪb yut; n. ˈæ trəˌbyut/
verb (used with object), attributed, attributing.
1.
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.
2.
to consider as a quality or characteristic of the person, thing, group, etc., indicated:
He attributed intelligence to his colleagues.
3.
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.
4.
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.
noun
5.
something attributed as belonging to a person, thing, group, etc.; a quality, character, characteristic, or property:
Sensitivity is one of his attributes.
6.
something used as a symbol of a particular person, office, or status:
A scepter is one of the attributes of a king.
7.
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.
8.
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.
9.
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).
10.
Logic. (in a proposition) that which is affirmed or denied concerning the subject.
11.
Obsolete. distinguished character; reputation.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin attribūtus allotted, assigned, imputed to (past participle of attribuere), equivalent to at- at- + tribū- (stem of tribuere to assign (to tribes), classify, ascribe; see tribe) + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
attributable, adjective
attributer, attributor, noun
misattribute, verb, misattributed, misattributing.
nonattributable, adjective
reattribute, verb (used with object), reattributed, reattributing.
unattributable, adjective
unattributably, adverb
unattributed, adjective
well-attributed, adjective
Synonyms
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for attributable
  • Most flood destruction is attributable to humans' desire to live near picturesque coastlines and in river valleys.
  • About half of the past century's rise in sea level is attributable to warmer oceans simply occupying more space.
  • The causes of the decline are largely attributable to humans protecting their own lives and livestock.
  • The only portion of your meals and lodging that is deductible is the amount attributable to work.
  • Those exclusions are thought to be primarily attributable to the laboratory industry's successful lobbying efforts.
  • Of two million deaths attributable to diarrhea worldwide each year, over half a million are caused by rotavirus.
  • Everyone thinks because they have a mis-attributable, they're safe.
  • The reason why is attributable to the way the whales were chewing.
  • Ninety percent of accidents are attributable to human error.
  • Some of the gain is attributable to the efficiency of the company's own software.
British Dictionary definitions for attributable

attribute

verb (əˈtrɪbjuːt)
1.
(transitive) usually foll by to. to regard as belonging (to), produced (by), or resulting (from); ascribe (to): to attribute a painting to Picasso
noun (ˈætrɪˌbjuːt)
2.
a property, quality, or feature belonging to or representative of a person or thing
3.
an object accepted as belonging to a particular office or position
4.
(grammar)
  1. an adjective or adjectival phrase
  2. an attributive adjective
5.
(logic) the property, quality, or feature that is affirmed or denied concerning the subject of a proposition
Derived Forms
attributable, adjective
attributer, attributor, noun
attribution (ˌætrɪˈbjuːʃən) noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for attributable
adj.

1660s, from attribute (v.) + -able.

attribute

v.

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.

n.

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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