as·​cribe | \ ə-ˈskrīb How to pronounce ascribe (audio) \
ascribed; ascribing

Definition of ascribe

transitive verb

: to refer to a supposed cause, source, or author : to say or think that (something) is caused by, comes from, or is associated with a particular person or thing These poems are usually ascribed to Homer. They ascribe most of their success to good timing and good luck. She ascribes no importance to having a lot of money.

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Other Words from ascribe

ascribable \ ə-​ˈskrī-​bə-​bəl How to pronounce ascribable (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for ascribe

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

Examples of ascribe in a Sentence

ascribed their stunning military victory to good intelligence beforehand

Recent Examples on the Web

The best part of solving is when the crossword puts your brain into hyperdrive, ascribing significance to anything and everything, then turns around to remind you that a word might also just be a word. Adrienne Raphel, The New Yorker, "How Crosswords Put Your Brain Into Hyperdrive," 16 Sep. 2019 Slide down singing sand dunes in Kazakhstan Marco Polo ascribed the boom of sand dunes to mischievous spirits creating music with the beat of drums and the clash of arms. Trevor Cox, National Geographic, "15 musical wonders to see—and hear," 31 July 2019 But Morton ascribed to an archaic worldview that held that there were five distinct races, each representing separate acts of creation, and thus falling into a divinely determined hierarchy. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "There’s new evidence confirming bias of the “father of scientific racism”," 4 Oct. 2018 So is Bruce the latest celebrity to ascribe to the yeehaw agenda? Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Even Bruce Springsteen Has Joined The Yeehaw Agenda," 26 Apr. 2019 Paris’s involvement in the company is probably one reason why Renault’s stock price ascribes so little value to its core business. Chris Hughes | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Fiat-Renault’s Giant Merger Doesn’t Look So Simple Now," 4 June 2019 Some of the dollar’s strength during this time can be attributed to past mischief in currency markets by China, but more can be ascribed to the unique role the U.S. financial system plays in the global financial system. David Beckworth, National Review, "Why the U.S. Dollar Will Remain Strong," 22 Aug. 2019 While many view what happened at old Comiskey Park that night as horseplay run amok, other ascribe less benign sentiments to what transpired and what fueled it. Phil Rosenthal,, "White Sox and Steve Dahl defend Disco Demolition T-shirt giveaway amid criticism: 'What happened?'," 12 June 2019 The average consumer might ascribe the declining price to a variant of Moore’s law. Ashwin Rodrigues, Fortune, "Your Smart TV Is Getting Too Smart for Your Own Good," 21 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ascribe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ascribe

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ascribe

Middle English, from Latin ascribere, from ad- + scribere to write — more at scribe

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Statistics for ascribe

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ascribe

The first known use of ascribe was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for ascribe


as·​cribe | \ ə-ˈskrīb How to pronounce ascribe (audio) \
ascribed; ascribing

Kids Definition of ascribe

: to think of as coming from a specified cause, source, or author They ascribed his success to nothing more than good luck.

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More from Merriam-Webster on ascribe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ascribe

Spanish Central: Translation of ascribe

Nglish: Translation of ascribe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ascribe for Arabic Speakers

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