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.

Other Words from ascribe

ascribable \ ə-​ˈskrī-​bə-​bəl How to pronounce ascribe (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 If there is such a thing as monastic diplomacy, its modus operandi would be watchfulness, patience, and a reluctance to ascribe blame. Fred Bahnson, Harper’s Magazine , 20 July 2022 People too easily ascribe a mind like their own to all sorts of things, from pets to pet rocks. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 14 June 2022 At the moment, there’s an attempt to ascribe collective guilt to all those who carry a Russian passport, or to the entire Russian culture. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 May 2022 It’s an extraordinarily sophisticated maneuver, one that doesn’t ascribe intention based on personal information but rather allows the art to express its deeper content. Jarrett Earnest, The New York Review of Books, 8 June 2022 But Sean Aday, an associate professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University, says that news audiences can often ascribe a greater sense of authority and objectivity to satellite images than other kinds of photos. Jordan G. Teicher, The New Republic, 31 Mar. 2022 Many in the White Nationalist movement who participated in the violent attack of the US Capitol on January 6th, it can be argued, ascribe to this viewpoint as well. Charlie Dent, CNN, 1 Mar. 2022 Several analysts ascribe that halting rise to the extremely the tough regulatory climate in both states. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 5 Apr. 2022 Many in golf, including Crenshaw, ascribe the enduring formality to Bobby Jones, an Augusta National founder who died in 1971. New York Times, 5 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for ascribe

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near ascribe

ascot tan



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Statistics for ascribe

Last Updated

29 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ascribe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on ascribe

Nglish: Translation of ascribe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ascribe for Arabic Speakers


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