Definition of impute
- our vices as well as our virtues have been imputed to bodily derangement
- —B. N. Cardozo
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people often impute his silence to unfriendliness and not to the shyness it really represents
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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."
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
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