attribute (something) to (someone or something)

idiom

Definition of attribute (something) to (someone or something)

1 : to say that (something) is because of (someone or something)
  • He attributes his success to his coach.
  • His doctor attributes his health problems to a poor diet and a lack of exercise.
2 : to think of (something) as being a quality of (someone or something)
  • The study suggests that it is a mistake to attribute adult reasoning to children.
  • Is it right to attribute complex emotions to animals?
  • She attributed some importance to the research.
3 : to think of (something) as being made or created by (someone)
  • The poem is usually attributed to Shakespeare, but some scholars doubt that he wrote it.

Word by Word Definitions

attribute play
  1. : a quality, character, or characteristic ascribed to someone or something

  2. : an object closely associated with or belonging to a specific person, thing, or office

  3. : a word ascribing a quality

  1. : to explain (something) by indicating a cause

  2. : to regard as a characteristic of a person or thing

  3. : to reckon as made or originated in an indicated fashion

something play
  1. : some indeterminate or unspecified thing

  2. : some indeterminate amount more than a specified number

  3. : a person or thing of consequence

  1. : in some degree : somewhat

  2. used as an intensive giving adverbial force to an adjective

someone play
  1. : some person : somebody


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