Definition of ascribe in English:



  • 1 Regard something as being due to (a cause)

    ‘he ascribed Jane's short temper to her upset stomach’
    • ‘Many people in the department ascribe his odd behaviour to drunkenness and encroaching senility.’
    • ‘Ex-radicals usually ascribe their evolution to the inevitable giving way of idealistic youth to responsible maturity.’
    • ‘Have you noticed how each of us is guilty of ascribing motives to other people's actions, yet so often get it wrong?’
    • ‘In 1926 Brown published a paper in which he ascribed these fluctuations to irregular changes in the Earth's period of rotation which has subsequently proved correct.’
    • ‘The AP obituary says it was lung cancer and ascribes the disease to his smoking history, both of which I think are incorrect.’
    • ‘Yet the two reporters ascribed the development to rural poverty.’
    • ‘As long as a believer ascribes his views to his faith, he can say anything he wants and if you don't like it, you're the bigot.’
    • ‘She now involves an assistant who understands what she wants, though she still ascribes the results to chance.’
    • ‘In addition, in ascribing such influence to church outreach your reader implicitly assumes that the poor in New Orleans are organized around effective, cohesive religious and ethnic communities.’
    • ‘This derives from a study that says just the opposite, ascribing the mortality figure to physical inactivity, risky weight-loss processes and poor diet.’
    • ‘The substantial increase in the navy in this period is ascribed to him.’
    • ‘In Avalonia this last period is ascribed to a rift or wrench regime.’
    • ‘He ascribed the poor results to poverty and the lack of resources at most schools.’
    • ‘Any half-wit, by the simple device of ascribing his delusions to revelation, takes on an authority that is denied to all the rest of us.’
    • ‘Cynthia ascribes his behaviour to his upbringing.’
    • ‘He partly ascribed the problems to a shortage of skills at municipal level in treating drinking water and waste water.’
    • ‘The 39-year-old businessman ascribes his career to his exploratory spirit and wise management.’
    attribute, assign, put down, set down, accredit, credit, give the credit for, chalk up, impute
    lay on, pin on, blame on, lay at the door of
    connect with, associate with
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    1. 1.1Regard a text, quotation, or work of art as being produced by or belonging to (a particular person or period)
      ‘a quotation ascribed to Thomas Cooper’
    2. 1.2Regard a quality as belonging to.
      ‘tough-mindedness is a quality commonly ascribed to top bosses’
      • ‘One wonders if they ascribed a healing power to the paintings themselves.’
      • ‘I don't want to ascribe human reactions to my dog, because that spoils the joy of seeing things from a dog perspective.’
      • ‘Culture and religion ascribe subservient roles to females.’
      • ‘The Qur'an itself legitimizes the existence of tribes and peoples without ascribing any superiority to one group over the other.’
      • ‘It would be nice to ascribe these ravings to a past generation, except I'm pretty sure her son, who lives in a cosmopolitan city, thinks the same way.’
      • ‘The important point is that all peoples have reacted to memories of the flood in the same way - by ascribing some fault to human beings; and one can see why this is so psychologically satisfying.’
      • ‘It's ascribing sinister motives to the FBI before anything remotely akin to that has been proven.’
      • ‘As a result, we not only treat these animals in ridiculous ways, but ascribe rights to them modelled on our own.’
      • ‘Would your workers ascribe these qualities to you?’
      • ‘In time, both prescriptive and normative qualities were ascribed to classical decision theory.’
      • ‘The author, unfortunately, often ascribes human qualities to viruses, whereas he knows that survival depends on a high rate of replication and mutation to provide candidates to fit the challenge of the ever changing environment.’
      • ‘On one hand, there is a position that ascribes a narrow meaning to the definition of ‘associated entity’ often through strained interpretation and flawed logic.’
      • ‘I still think that mischievous, but not nearly as vile as ascribing messianic qualities to a single man.’
      • ‘Thus, for me, semiotics suggested that you could not ascribe universal values to literary texts.’
      • ‘But I bristle when a show expects I'll ascribe salutary characteristics to someone because of their sexuality; it's as silly as automatically assuming negative characteristics.’
      • ‘When this axiom is applied to the chart of the readings of the three versions above, it will be seen that there are good grounds for ascribing the originality to the Masoretic Text.’
      • ‘Around the world, people ascribe god-like attributes to lightning, rivers or even old buildings.’
      • ‘As a disciplined believer, Witwer sees the danger of ascribing holy attributes to a man-made creation, but at the same time understands that it signals the potential for divine jurisprudence.’
      • ‘The same mistake would be made in ascribing those attributes to the foundation.’
      • ‘We stopped ascribing any value to integration, and began flirting with the notion that host countries aren't legitimate entities with their own cultures, only political frameworks for various co-existing cultures.’
      • ‘I am quite sure that no blame can be ascribed to Islington in that regard.’
      • ‘There is no foundation for ascribing an energetic quality to a crystal simply because it has a particular appearance, colour or name.’
      • ‘However, it requires that we ascribe interests to entities that are unable to suffer any pain or frustration if their so-called interests are not met.’
      • ‘Various authors have indicated that the dehumanization of others by means of ascribing animal attributes to them is a way to legitimize their exploitation and their exclusion from civilized society.’
      lay, pin, place, impose, fix
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Middle English: from Latin ascribere, from ad- to + scribere write.