at·trib·ute (-trbyt) KEY
at·trib·ut·ed, at·trib·ut·ing, at·trib·utes
at·tri·bute (tr-byt) KEY
Latin attribuere, attribt- : ad-, ad- + tribuere, to allot ; see tribute
at·tribut·a·ble(Adjective), at·tribut·er or at·tribu·tor(Noun)
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.