Meaning of ATTRIBUTE in English


I. at·tri·bute ˈa-trə-ˌbyüt noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin attributus, past participle of attribuere to attribute, from ad- + tribuere to bestow — more at tribute

Date: 14th century

1. : an inherent characteristic ; also : an accidental quality

2. : an object closely associated with or belonging to a specific person, thing, or office

a scepter is the attribute of power

especially : such an object used for identification in painting or sculpture

3. : a word ascribing a quality ; especially : adjective

Synonyms: see quality

II. at·trib·ute ə-ˈtri-ˌbyüt, -byət transitive verb

( -ut·ed ; -ut·ing )

Date: 1530

1. : to explain by indicating a cause

attributed his success to his coach


a. : to regard as a characteristic of a person or thing

b. : to reckon as made or originated in an indicated fashion

attributed the invention to a Russian

c. : classify , designate

Synonyms: see ascribe

• at·trib·ut·able -byü-tə-bəl, -byə- adjective

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.