ascribe

verb
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 \ -​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 Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant ascribed truth to the impact of the structure of the human mind on observed reality. The Atlantic, "The Metamorphosis," 11 July 2019 Sure, there were plenty of signals, but all could be ascribed to human activity — either transmitters here on Earth or orbiting satellites. Seth Shostak, NBC News, "Search for space aliens comes up empty, but extraterrestrial life could still be out there," 26 June 2019 This is mostly ascribed to his calm capacity for physical suffering. Gerald Marzorati, The New Yorker, "Rafael Nadal’s Unparalleled Dominance of the French Open," 9 June 2019 How much of the stubborn inequality between countries can be ascribed to climate change? Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "Inequality is decreasing between countries—but climate change is slowing progress," 22 Apr. 2019 But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has cautioned against ascribing particular rain or drought events to human activity. Lisa W. Foderaro, National Geographic, "Climate change has contributed to droughts since 1900—and may get worse," 1 May 2019 Scholarly commentators and pundits generally shrink from ascribing base pecuniary motives to the military-industrial complex. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's magazine, "The Military-Industrial Virus," 10 June 2019 Lizio-Katzen doesn’t ascribe to that — or to the idea that heavier people shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes or that pinstripes are slimming. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Analysis: What’s with Trump’s suits? Asking a tailor," 4 June 2019 Investors need to be mindful of hindsight bias — the tendency to ascribe signs of trouble after the fact. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Blockbuster Deals and Stock Market Records Are Signs of a Top," 28 Sep. 2018

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

19 Jul 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

ascribe

verb
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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