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at·trib·ute  (-trbyt)
tr.v. at·trib·ut·ed, at·trib·ut·ing, at·trib·utes
1. To relate to a particular cause or source; ascribe: attributed their failure to a lack of preparation.
2. To regard as the work of a specified agent, place, or time: attributed the painting to Titian; attributed the vase to 18th-century Japan.
n. at·tri·bute (tr-byt)
1. A quality or characteristic inherent in or ascribed to someone or something.
2. An object associated with and serving to identify a character, personage, or office: Lightning bolts are an attribute of Zeus.
3. Grammar A word or phrase syntactically subordinate to another word or phrase that it modifies; for example, my sisters and brown in my sisters brown dog.

[Latin attribuere, attribt- : ad-, ad- + tribuere, to allot; see tribute.]

at·tribut·a·ble adj.
at·tribut·er, at·tribu·tor n.
Synonyms: attribute, ascribe, impute, credit, assign, refer
These verbs mean to consider as resulting from or belonging to a person or thing. Attribute and ascribe, often interchangeable, have the widest application: The historian discovered a new symphony attributed to Mozart. The museum displayed an invention ascribed to the 15th century.
Impute is often used in laying guilt or fault to another: We usually ascribe good; but impute evil (Samuel Johnson).
Credit frequently applies to an accomplishment or virtue: Some excellent remarks were made on immortality, but mainly borrowed from and credited to Plato (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.)
Assign and refer are often used to classify or categorize: Program music as a genre is usually assigned to the Romantic period. A person thus prepared will be able to refer any particular history he takes up to its proper place in universal history (Joseph Priestley). See Also Synonyms at quality.

attribute  /trbyut/  n. a characteristic, quality of a person or thing: He is a handsome man with many other good attributes.
v. [T] /trbyut, byt/ -uted, -uting to credit, be the reason for: I attribute his success to his talent and hard work. -adj. attributable /trbyutbl, by/; -n. [U] attribution /trbyun/. attribute

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