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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 attributes
  • Those attributes seem to get people to believe in him, whether in a deal discussion or while digging out of hard times.
  • Indeed, the ability to create a successful grant proposal is just one of the attributes of a good scholar.
  • No higher attributes; one sovereign law.
  • It looks, feels and goes the way it does because those attributes have earned it applause in the years it's been sold in Japan.
  • Her agent attributes this to a lack of time on Orman's part.
  • One of the unique attributes of dark matter is that it may not have volume only mass.
  • Sherwood attributes her first three online writing credits to contacts she made through the list.
  • Red hair or second sight would also be attributes.
  • Yet he brings highly desirable attributes to the ticket.
  • The attributes colored red are entirely optional.
British Dictionary definitions for attributes

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 attributes
n.

"qualities belonging to someone or something," c.1600; see attribute (n.).

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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12
14
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