Definition of attribute in US English:

attribute

verb

[with object]
Pronunciation /əˈtriˌbyo͞ot//əˈtrɪˌbjut/
attribute something to
  • 1Regard something as being caused by (someone or something)

    ‘he attributed the firm's success to the efforts of the managing director’
    ‘his resignation was attributed to stress’
    • ‘Other barriers faced by homeless citizens can be attributed to unfair stereotypes associated with the homeless.’
    • ‘Much of the success could be attributed to the talents of the speaker for the event.’
    • ‘The credit card company attributed the improvement to fewer personal bankruptcies and tightened credit control.’
    • ‘If there is a flaw to the film, it can be attributed to the documentary approach.’
    • ‘The older histories of the colony have generally attributed its failure to the character of the French settlers.’
    • ‘Scientists attribute this remarkable longevity to the shark's superior physiological developments.’
    • ‘He notes that the two would be interesting to study, to see if any of their similarities can be attributed to their genetic connection.’
    • ‘While people once might have attributed maladies to demonic possession, we now talk confidently about disease-generating microorganisms and parasites.’
    • ‘We attributed this decrease to human activities associated with development of the park's infrastructure causing dispersal of animals.’
    • ‘The authors attributed this inconsistency to the two cultures' different expectations for children's behaviour.’
    • ‘The authors attribute this inconsistency to differences in intensive care unit administration and manpower.’
    • ‘Several of the shoplifting incidents were attributed to two culprits.’
    • ‘The authors attribute these findings to the overall liberal values of Danish society.’
    • ‘The authors attributed the differences to the circumstances surrounding rehabilitation.’
    • ‘Scientists attribute this change to better living standards, particularly in regard to diet.’
    • ‘Allen gave both teams full credit for their victories, attributing their success to the skill, confidence and commitment of the team members.’
    • ‘The firm attributed the profit to rising prices and lower interest payments to its creditors.’
    • ‘The firm attributes the loss to its heavy investment in the Special Olympics and its involvement in a number of long-term development projects.’
    • ‘The firm attributes its success to a talented staff and an open culture that honors individual creativity and nurtures teamwork.’
    • ‘Typically he attributes this success to the quality of his teachers.’
    • ‘She attributes her remarkable recovery to the skill of the surgeons - and her love of hunting.’
    ascribe, assign, accredit, credit, impute, allot, allocate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Ascribe a work or remark to (a particular author, artist, or speaker)
      ‘the building was attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright’
      • ‘In his characteristically overgenerous way, Russell attributed his ideas to Ludwig Wittgenstein, who had been his pupil for a short time at Cambridge before the war.’
      • ‘And I have remembered the author incorrectly, too, having erroneously attributed it to Paul Bunyan, thinking it came from Pilgrim's Progress.’
      • ‘These remarks were attributed to a social audit, which was conducted by a consultant.’
      • ‘Until recently, the angriest reaction I ever got to one of my reviews was when I criticised an author for attributing thoughts to Teddy Roosevelt's dog.’
      • ‘When apologising for his remark, he also attempted to justify it by attributing the comment to a friend whose son had taken his own life.’
      • ‘Fake quotations were attributed to two genuine public officials.’
      • ‘Those statements are attributed to two men who are being held against their will.’
      • ‘Moreover, because each cult statue was attributed to a particular artist, it was also linked to a particular historic moment.’
      • ‘He attributes the term to a US socialist, but he disowns authorship.’
      • ‘While all the works were attributed to both artists, it was easy for anyone familiar with their oeuvres to recognize who did what.’
      • ‘He never attributed the line to Kennedy in his remarks, nor does the transcribed version of his speech.’
      • ‘While none of these parties can be considered fascist, racist remarks have been attributed to members of these parties.’
      • ‘He attributes this restrictive view to the American author.’
      • ‘Others have attributed it to the author Lewis Carroll.’
      • ‘By the appearance in 1667 of the Essays, an unusual book that attributed the work to no single author, the academy no longer existed.’
      • ‘The official News Agency attributed the remarks to a Foreign Ministry spokesman.’
      • ‘I do not attribute the authorship to Mr Nicholson.’
      • ‘Willfully to misinterpret a text is akin to attributing an action to the author that he did not commit.’
      • ‘The article was attributed to no specific author.’
      • ‘Since the work first appeared in the records of the collection of the Borghese family in the 1790s, it has been attributed to various Renaissance artists.’
      ascribe, assign, accredit, credit, impute, allot, allocate
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Regard a quality or feature as characteristic of or possessed by (someone or something)
      ‘ancient peoples attributed magic properties to certain stones’
      • ‘A person may falsely attribute an undesirable feature to people she assigns to a racial group because of her disregard for those in the group.’
      • ‘According to the Professor, this is because we tend to attribute human characteristics to computers.’
      • ‘In Chinese culture, these qualities were attributed to a fiercer animal, the wolf.’
      • ‘We have tended to attribute negative characteristics to the body without realizing that this results in the destructive functioning of the spirit.’
      • ‘Magical healing qualities are attributed to some types of honey, but not all of them contain the necessary active ingredients.’
      • ‘But consistently through the studies, participants attributed the elicited trait to the speakers, even though these speakers described someone other than themselves.’
      • ‘More grating, though, is the narrator, who is constantly attributing characteristics to these people - wit, say, or charisma, or confidence - which are in no way borne out by anything they say or do.’
      • ‘By the 1820s it had become common to attribute definable features to the age, usually in unflattering terms.’
      • ‘If a candidate has a friend in the organization, the hiring agent will likely attribute positive characteristics to the candidate.’
      • ‘I find it difficult to attribute such authority to the decision, when both the Court of Appeal and this House were expressly invited to adopt that proposition, and both, in different ways, declined the invitation…’
      • ‘But when you describe your friends, you still might describe them as smart, because we're speaking in relative terms when we attribute qualities to people.’
      • ‘Research with animal behavior, and perhaps especially with the great apes, risks wrongly attributing human characteristics to animals.’
      • ‘Rather than describing a man's character by attributing various qualities to him, they preferred to exemplify it by saying the sort of things that he might do.’
      • ‘Nations tend to develop myths that attribute positive qualities to their founders and uniqueness to their political institutions.’
      • ‘In fact, we often attribute characteristics to race that belong in the realm of cultural differences.’
      • ‘We fall prey to it because we continue to attribute characteristics to groups while ignoring genuine gender differences.’
      • ‘They regard others with suspicion, attributing ulterior motives to the most innocent behaviour.’
      • ‘I chose to purchase my yellow wristband because I attribute meanings to it and find connections between the wristband and my personal beliefs.’
      • ‘Anna now believes that she was in love with a person who really didn't exist - an imaginary person that she created by attributing characteristics to Bill that he didn't actually possess.’
      • ‘In chapter 1, Agar considers why machine-like characteristics have been attributed to governments.’

noun

Pronunciation /ˈætrəˌbjut//ˈatrəˌbyo͞ot/
  • 1A quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.

    ‘flexibility and mobility are the key attributes of our army’
    • ‘The retail sector is characterised by three main attributes.’
    • ‘Men who pride themselves on how much money they can dish out generally value a woman for her physical attributes rather than her character.’
    • ‘Remember, your integrity and personal character are your greatest attributes.’
    • ‘Respondents ranked the importance of six different quality attributes of a steak they might purchase.’
    • ‘He has the height and he is very strong across the chest, shoulders and in the legs - key attributes for good quality rowers.’
    • ‘He spent a lot of time thinking about the attributes of each character.’
    • ‘The key attribute, the only one that really matters, is distinctiveness.’
    • ‘First, consumers currently have little information about quality attributes when purchasing beef.’
    • ‘The true feminine qualities and attributes are mostly lost on this new generation.’
    • ‘We agreed on the key attributes of the character and the artistic direction.’
    • ‘We all think it feels degrading to be asked to describe the way we look, as if our attributes were the features on a used car.’
    • ‘Adding to Carls' numerous attributes is his unmatched character.’
    • ‘The workplace no longer values the masculine attributes of strength, forbearance, comradeship and determination.’
    • ‘Attractive, well built, pleasant character… all the attributes required for a successful and happy life.’
    • ‘If I had to list my personal attributes, ‘common sense’ would be very high up my list.’
    • ‘One approach, the study of gender differences, assesses the attributes and characteristics of men and women.’
    • ‘A major goal of pharmacy education is surely to produce graduates with these qualities and attributes.’
    • ‘This is the development of unique features or attributes in a product or service that position it to appeal especially to a part of the total market.’
    • ‘The applicant must show that she has attributes or characteristics which distinguish her from all other persons.’
    • ‘This combination of attributes characterizes good teachers at home and in the classroom.’
    quality, feature, characteristic, trait, element, aspect, property, hallmark, mark, distinction, sign, telltale sign, sure sign
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A material object recognized as symbolic of a person, especially a conventional object used in art to identify a saint or mythical figure.
      • ‘It is flanked by an original pair of niches that protect two carved wood classical figures bearing floral attributes.’
      • ‘Mayan examples are identified by glyphs and attributes, and are understood to represent specific subjects.’
      • ‘Spinoza identifies two attributes of God: thought and extension.’
      • ‘In the pastel, these emblems are displayed as attributes of Pompadour herself, or at least of her tastes.’
      • ‘I wrote down the names, symbols and attributes of the gods.’
      • ‘The hospital of St Katherine was under royal control and this link emphasised the royal attributes of the saint.’
      • ‘We might say that these attributes of the saint are fruits of the spirit, the new nature.’
      • ‘Guanyin possesses the attributes of a devotional icon, at the same time that she appears to be a visionary manifestation.’
      • ‘Tintoretto directs the viewer's main attention to what, to all intents and purposes, is an attribute of Saint George.’
      • ‘The depiction of her as St Margaret shows her in contemporary dress but with the attributes of the saint.’
      • ‘When the Greeks conquered Egypt they recognised in him attributes of their medicine god Asclepius, and continued to build temples to him.’
      • ‘Centered on the canvas, each image bears a number of formal attributes associated with conventional portraiture.’
      symbol, indicator, mark, sign, hallmark, trademark, status symbol
      View synonyms
  • 2Computing
    A piece of information which determines the properties of a field or tag in a database or a string of characters in a display.

    • ‘Here, you are changing a "positioning style attribute" of an object.’
    • ‘First, you can apply the CSS inline using the style attribute on any tag.’
    • ‘The destination of the alias is stored in the maildrop attribute.’
    • ‘You'll have to tolerate the error messages concerned with the attributes.’
    • ‘Declarative demands place requests directly into your code's metadata using attributes.’
  • 3Grammar
    An attributive adjective or noun.

  • 4Statistics
    A real property which a statistical analysis is attempting to describe.

    • ‘The coefficients for the attributes were all statistically significantly different from zero.’
    • ‘This does not mean that individuals have the attributes of the statistical group.’
    • ‘Each sub-element has four mandatory attributes plus one optional attribute, as described in Table 1.’
    • ‘Similar analyses were conducted for other attributes.’
    • ‘The cases and the attributes used to describe them are taken directly from the database.’
    • ‘To speed up searches, you should create indexes for commonly searched attributes.’
    • ‘Such an array can be very useful for visualizing relationships among various objects and attributes of those objects.’
    • ‘The presentation attributes are encoded into the message, and are thus sent with the message across a network such as the Internet.’
    • ‘An object is defined by the attributes that describe the real-world entity that it is modeling.’
    • ‘Metadata is a set of attributes used to describe an object.’
    • ‘Patterns are recurrent, regular attributes of world phenomena or abstract examples.’
    • ‘Today many philosophers find attributes problematic.’
    • ‘Different bundles of these attributes are then assembled, using statistical design principles.’
    • ‘Nest attributes used in the statistical analyses were measured at the start of the first film.’
    • ‘Demographic attributes for the patients in the study are provided in Table 1.’

Origin

Late 15th century: the noun from Old French attribut; the verb from Latin attribut- ‘allotted’: both from the verb attribuere, from ad- ‘to’ + tribuere ‘assign’.

Pronunciation

attribute

Verb/əˈtrɪˌbjut/

attribute

Noun/ˈætrəˌbjut/