im·​pute | \ im-ˈpyüt How to pronounce impute (audio) \
imputed; imputing

Definition of impute

transitive verb

1 : to lay the responsibility or blame for (something) often falsely or unjustly The economic sins imputed to Tito had all been committed to a greater extent by the communist parties of neighbouring countries.— Hugh Seton-Watson
2 : to credit or ascribe (something) to a person or a cause : attribute our vices as well as our virtues have been imputed to bodily derangement— B. N. Cardozo

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Other Words from impute

imputability \ im-​ˌpyü-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce impute (audio) \ noun
imputable \ im-​ˈpyü-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce impute (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for impute

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

Put the Valuable Impute Into Your Vocabulary

Impute is a somewhat formal word that is used to suggest that someone or something has done or is guilty of something. It is similar in meaning to such words as ascribe and attribute, though it is more likely to suggest an association with something that brings discredit. When we impute something, we typically impute it to someone or something. You may also encounter the related noun imputation, which appears in such contexts as "I deny all your imputations of blame." Another sense of impute means "to calculate as a value or cost (as for taxation)," as in "impute a benefit from the use of the car."

Examples of impute in a Sentence

people often impute his silence to unfriendliness and not to the shyness it really represents
Recent Examples on the Web Once those videoconference recordings are handed over, whoever combs through them will have a great opportunity to look for comments that sound bad, admissions, and statements that might be used to impute bad motivations. Joshua Stein, Forbes, "Unexpected Legal Risks Of Videoconferencing," 21 Apr. 2021 If Trump voters are more likely to hang up on pollsters, then how should a forecast impute the preferences of non-respondents? Aditya Kotak, Quartz, "Polls are overconfident, just like people," 12 Nov. 2020 The same petrifying dreadfulness marks those intermittent engravings which impute monstrousness—embodied by eruptive owls or witches—to the dreaming states of the putatively rational. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Goya and the Art of Survival," 14 Sep. 2020 The worst of religious conservatism is on cable news imputing to Trump an almost-Constantinian prestige, uniting nationalist fervor with religious revivalism. Andrew T. Walker, National Review, "Understanding Why Religious Conservatives Would Vote for Trump," 10 Feb. 2020 Vote intentions were imputed onto voter file records in Iowa and then aggregated statewide and by district. CBS News, "CBS News Battleground Tracker: What could happen in Iowa on Monday?," 3 Feb. 2020 The analysis imputes usual hours when unavailable or varying, and adjusts weekly earnings for top-coding using a log-linear distributional assumption. Ernie Tedeschi, New York Times, "Pay Is Rising Fastest for Low Earners. One Reason? Minimum Wages.," 3 Jan. 2020 The most significant development was also the most question-begging: the impulse to impute significance to rat kings and therefore to report on them, draw attention to them, and preserve them. Adrian Daub, Longreads, "All Hail the Rat King," 13 Dec. 2019 Left to their own devices, investors start to impute greater significance to key thresholds. The Economist, "How yuan-dollar became the world’s most closely watched asset price," 8 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impute.' 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 impute

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for impute

Middle English, from Anglo-French imputer, from Latin imputare, from in- + putare to consider

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The first known use of impute was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

28 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Impute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for impute



English Language Learners Definition of impute

formal : to say or suggest that someone or something has or is guilty of (something)
im·​pute | \ im-ˈpyüt How to pronounce impute (audio) \
imputed; imputing

Legal Definition of impute

1 : to consider or calculate as a value or cost (as for taxation) broadly : to reckon as an actual thing impute a benefit from the use of the car
2 in the civil law of Louisiana : to direct (payment) to principal or interest
3 : to attribute to a party especially because of responsibility for another impute knowledge to his corporate superior

Other Words from impute

imputation \ ˌim-​pyə-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce impute (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on impute

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impute

Nglish: Translation of impute for Spanish Speakers

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