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’
    • ‘Scientists attribute this change to better living standards, particularly in regard to diet.’
    • ‘We attributed this decrease to human activities associated with development of the park's infrastructure causing dispersal of animals.’
    • ‘If there is a flaw to the film, it can be attributed to the documentary approach.’
    • ‘Several of the shoplifting incidents were attributed to two culprits.’
    • ‘Scientists attribute this remarkable longevity to the shark's superior physiological developments.’
    • ‘The firm attributes the loss to its heavy investment in the Special Olympics and its involvement in a number of long-term development projects.’
    • ‘He notes that the two would be interesting to study, to see if any of their similarities can be attributed to their genetic connection.’
    • ‘Other barriers faced by homeless citizens can be attributed to unfair stereotypes associated with the homeless.’
    • ‘Typically he attributes this success to the quality of his teachers.’
    • ‘Much of the success could be attributed to the talents of the speaker for the event.’
    • ‘She attributes her remarkable recovery to the skill of the surgeons - and her love of hunting.’
    • ‘The authors attribute these findings to the overall liberal values of Danish society.’
    • ‘The authors attribute this inconsistency to differences in intensive care unit administration and manpower.’
    • ‘The older histories of the colony have generally attributed its failure to the character of the French settlers.’
    • ‘The firm attributed the profit to rising prices and lower interest payments to its creditors.’
    • ‘While people once might have attributed maladies to demonic possession, we now talk confidently about disease-generating microorganisms and parasites.’
    • ‘Allen gave both teams full credit for their victories, attributing their success to the skill, confidence and commitment of the team members.’
    • ‘The credit card company attributed the improvement to fewer personal bankruptcies and tightened credit control.’
    • ‘The authors attributed the differences to the circumstances surrounding rehabilitation.’
    • ‘The authors attributed this inconsistency to the two cultures' different expectations for children's behaviour.’
    • ‘The firm attributes its success to a talented staff and an open culture that honors individual creativity and nurtures teamwork.’
    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’
      • ‘Others have attributed it to the author Lewis Carroll.’
      • ‘While none of these parties can be considered fascist, racist remarks have been attributed to members of these parties.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While all the works were attributed to both artists, it was easy for anyone familiar with their oeuvres to recognize who did what.’
      • ‘I do not attribute the authorship to Mr Nicholson.’
      • ‘Fake quotations were attributed to two genuine public officials.’
      • ‘These remarks were attributed to a social audit, which was conducted by a consultant.’
      • ‘He attributes the term to a US socialist, but he disowns authorship.’
      • ‘Moreover, because each cult statue was attributed to a particular artist, it was also linked to a particular historic moment.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The official News Agency attributed the remarks to a Foreign Ministry spokesman.’
      • ‘He attributes this restrictive view to the American author.’
      • ‘Willfully to misinterpret a text is akin to attributing an action to the author that he did not commit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By the appearance in 1667 of the Essays, an unusual book that attributed the work to no single author, the academy no longer existed.’
      • ‘Those statements are attributed to two men who are being held against their will.’
      • ‘He never attributed the line to Kennedy in his remarks, nor does the transcribed version of his speech.’
      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’
      • ‘In chapter 1, Agar considers why machine-like characteristics have been attributed to governments.’
      • ‘Magical healing qualities are attributed to some types of honey, but not all of them contain the necessary active ingredients.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘According to the Professor, this is because we tend to attribute human characteristics to computers.’
      • ‘I chose to purchase my yellow wristband because I attribute meanings to it and find connections between the wristband and my personal beliefs.’
      • ‘If a candidate has a friend in the organization, the hiring agent will likely attribute positive characteristics to the candidate.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 consistently through the studies, participants attributed the elicited trait to the speakers, even though these speakers described someone other than themselves.’
      • ‘By the 1820s it had become common to attribute definable features to the age, usually in unflattering terms.’
      • ‘In Chinese culture, these qualities were attributed to a fiercer animal, the wolf.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We have tended to attribute negative characteristics to the body without realizing that this results in the destructive functioning of the spirit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They regard others with suspicion, attributing ulterior motives to the most innocent behaviour.’
      • ‘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.’

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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘First, consumers currently have little information about quality attributes when purchasing beef.’
    • ‘The applicant must show that she has attributes or characteristics which distinguish her from all other persons.’
    • ‘We agreed on the key attributes of the character and the artistic direction.’
    • ‘Remember, your integrity and personal character are your greatest attributes.’
    • ‘He spent a lot of time thinking about the attributes of each character.’
    • ‘The workplace no longer values the masculine attributes of strength, forbearance, comradeship and determination.’
    • ‘He has the height and he is very strong across the chest, shoulders and in the legs - key attributes for good quality rowers.’
    • ‘The retail sector is characterised by three main attributes.’
    • ‘One approach, the study of gender differences, assesses the attributes and characteristics of men and women.’
    • ‘If I had to list my personal attributes, ‘common sense’ would be very high up my list.’
    • ‘Respondents ranked the importance of six different quality attributes of a steak they might purchase.’
    • ‘This combination of attributes characterizes good teachers at home and in the classroom.’
    • ‘Attractive, well built, pleasant character… all the attributes required for a successful and happy life.’
    • ‘Adding to Carls' numerous attributes is his unmatched character.’
    • ‘The key attribute, the only one that really matters, is distinctiveness.’
    • ‘The true feminine qualities and attributes are mostly lost on this new generation.’
    • ‘Men who pride themselves on how much money they can dish out generally value a woman for her physical attributes rather than her character.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A major goal of pharmacy education is surely to produce graduates with these qualities and attributes.’
    quality, feature, characteristic, trait, element, aspect, property, hallmark, mark, distinction, sign, telltale sign, sure sign
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    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.
      • ‘In the pastel, these emblems are displayed as attributes of Pompadour herself, or at least of her tastes.’
      • ‘Tintoretto directs the viewer's main attention to what, to all intents and purposes, is an attribute of Saint George.’
      • ‘Centered on the canvas, each image bears a number of formal attributes associated with conventional portraiture.’
      • ‘The hospital of St Katherine was under royal control and this link emphasised the royal attributes of the saint.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Guanyin possesses the attributes of a devotional icon, at the same time that she appears to be a visionary manifestation.’
      • ‘I wrote down the names, symbols and attributes of the gods.’
      • ‘Mayan examples are identified by glyphs and attributes, and are understood to represent specific subjects.’
      • ‘Spinoza identifies two attributes of God: thought and extension.’
      • ‘We might say that these attributes of the saint are fruits of the spirit, the new nature.’
      • ‘It is flanked by an original pair of niches that protect two carved wood classical figures bearing floral attributes.’
      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.

    • ‘Declarative demands place requests directly into your code's metadata using attributes.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 3Grammar
    An attributive adjective or noun.

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

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

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/