at·​trib·​u·​tive ə-ˈtri-byə-tiv How to pronounce attributive (audio)
: relating to or of the nature of an attribute : attributing
grammar : joined directly to a modified noun without a linking verb (such as city in city streets)
an attributive adjective
The "apple" of "apple pie" is not an adjective but an attributive noun.
attributive noun
attributively adverb
a noun being used attributively

Examples of attributive in a Sentence

“Red” in “red hair” is an attributive adjective. In “airplane pilot” the noun “airplane” is attributive.

Word History

First Known Use

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of attributive was in 1606

Dictionary Entries Near attributive

Cite this Entry

“Attributive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


at·​trib·​u·​tive ə-ˈtrib-yət-iv How to pronounce attributive (audio)
: joined directly to a modified noun without a verb
"city" in "city streets" is attributive
compare predicate
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