Definition of impute in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Represent (something, especially something undesirable) as being done, caused, or possessed by someone; attribute.

    ‘the crimes imputed to Richard’
    • ‘In other words, most of the evils imputed to my solution in fact continue under the occupation.’
    • ‘He is highly overrated as a strategist - indeed Democrats have imputed to him almost magical powers to shape events in the most complicated ways.’
    • ‘But in my view such knowledge should not be imputed to the company, for the essence of the arrangement was to deprive the company improperly of a large part of its assets.’
    • ‘The movie perverts the radicalism imputed to rock in the 60s, pretending All-American exuberance and liberation when it is actually only selling hegemony.’
    • ‘I was not satisfied that any general political opinion could be imputed to him on the lines of his being on the side of law and order and against the ‘dark forces’ of guerrillas and criminal gangs.’
    • ‘‘When those connections are made in this campaign and are imputed to this president, it's going to be a very bad thing for the president,’ he said.’
    • ‘Of course he denies all of this and, in an act of arrogance that seems consistent with the Machiavellian machinations imputed to him, refuses to dignify the charges with a response.’
    • ‘The conclusion of Epstein's essay is of continuing relevance to the mythical role imputed to the press in uncovering Watergate.’
    • ‘He says that the words complained of were meant and calculated to disparage the Claimant in his profession and business and also that they imputed to him the criminal offences of harassment stalking and theft.’
    • ‘Crucial facts are elided and fictitious positions are imputed to his opponents.’
    • ‘In suffering for a crime that is imputed to him, he both recalls and anticipates the many African Americans who lost their lives because of the groundless accusations made by whites.’
    • ‘This wilful injuria is in law malicious, although no malicious purpose to cause the harm which was caused, nor any motive of spite, is imputed to the defendant.’
    • ‘The title of this book, Alter / Asians, is meant to challenge the categorical otherness that is still imputed to Asia and Asians in Australia.’
    • ‘The father's views, the article properly noted, cannot simply be imputed to the son.’
    • ‘Diverse other adjectives interpretable as flaws of character could be imputed to him, but he was nevertheless invaluable, and when all was said and done that was what really mattered.’
    • ‘Whatever knowledge he may have had with respect to illegal activities, that knowledge cannot be imputed to Lloyd's.’
    • ‘If the parties reach an agreement as to the continued occupation of the premises by the tenant during that limbo period, what intention is to be imputed to them?’
    attribute, ascribe, assign, credit, accredit, chalk up
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Finance Assign (a value) to something by inference from the value of the products or processes to which it contributes.
      ‘by imputing the interest rates they potentially introduce a measurement error’
      • ‘He then considered the situation wherein workers impute no value to the insurance and demand for the industry's product is inelastic.’
      • ‘Consumers would make their own judgments and the resulting demand would impute value to these warranties.’
      • ‘Now, the fair value of the option will be imputed at the time of issue and amortized as an expense in the profit and loss account over the vesting period.’
      • ‘Perhaps a key way to fix things is to impute the loss to information processing-based economies on a country basis - as a tax on top of transactions aside from Treasury purchases.’
      • ‘From an economic point of view, therefore, interest imputes to individuals just as does wages.’
    2. 1.2Theology Ascribe (righteousness, guilt, etc.) to someone by virtue of a similar quality in another.
      ‘Christ's righteousness has been imputed to us’
      • ‘The central point of God saving the ungodly is that He does so by imputing the righteousness of Christ to the one who believes.’
      • ‘Thus, in the immediate context Paul is teaching that God imputes righteousness by faith in Christ apart from works.’
      • ‘This righteousness is imputed to those who trust in Him.’
      • ‘In a nutshell, the issue was whether God's righteousness is imputed (thus the Lutherans) or imparted (thus Rome).’
      • ‘Our sins were reckoned to him and his righteousness was imputed to us.’


Late Middle English: from Old French imputer, from Latin imputare ‘enter in the account’, from in- ‘in, towards’ + putare ‘reckon’.