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verb, im·pute \im-ˈpyüt\

Simple Definition of impute

  • : to say or suggest that someone or something has or is guilty of (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of impute


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to lay the responsibility or blame for often falsely or unjustly

  3. 2 :  to credit to a person or a cause :  attribute <our vices as well as our virtues have been imputed to bodily derangement — B. N. Cardozo>

imputability play \-ˌpyü-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
imputable play \-ˈpyü-tə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of impute in a sentence

  1. <people often impute his silence to unfriendliness and not to the shyness it really represents>

Did You Know?

Impute is a somewhat formal word that is used to suggest that someone or something has or is guilty of something. It is similar in meaning to such words as "ascribe" and "attribute," though it is more likely to suggest an association with something that brings discredit. When we "impute" something, we typically impute it to someone or something. You may also encounter the related noun "imputation," which appears in such contexts as "I deny all your imputations of blame."

Origin of impute

Middle English, from Anglo-French imputer, from Latin imputare, from in- + putare to consider

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of impute

ascribe, attribute, assign, impute, credit mean to lay something to the account of a person or thing. ascribe suggests an inferring or conjecturing of cause, quality, authorship <forged paintings formerly ascribed to masters>. attribute suggests less tentativeness than ascribe , less definiteness than assign <attributed to Rembrandt but possibly done by an associate>. assign implies ascribing with certainty or after deliberation <assigned the bones to the Cretaceous period>. impute suggests ascribing something that brings discredit by way of accusation or blame <tried to impute sinister motives to my actions>. credit implies ascribing a thing or especially an action to a person or other thing as its agent, source, or explanation <credited his teammates for his success>.

Law Dictionary


transitive verb im·pute \im-ˈpyüt\

Legal Definition of impute


  1. 1 :  to consider or calculate as a value or cost (as for taxation); broadly :  to reckon as an actual thing <impute a benefit from the use of the car>

  2. 2 in the civil law of Louisiana :  to direct (payment) to principal or interest

  3. 3 :  to attribute to a party especially because of responsibility for another <impute knowledge to his corporate superior>

imputation \ˌim-pyə-ˈtā-shən\ play noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up impute? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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