mis·​at·​trib·​ute ˌmis-ə-ˈtri-ˌbyüt How to pronounce misattribute (audio)
misattributed; misattributing

transitive verb

: to incorrectly indicate the cause, origin, or creator of (something) : to attribute wrongly
There's still dispute about this Canadian species, which was originally misattributed to Connecticut.Kristin Nord
It also suggests that some of the more elegant clocks traditionally assigned to Concord clockmakers have been misattributed.Kenneth Joel Zogry

Examples of misattribute in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Premo politely turned him down, recalling the time Kendall publicly misattributed a Guru lyric to Phife Dawg. Vulture, 24 Apr. 2023 This isn't the first time the video has been misattributed. Eleanor McCrary, USA TODAY, 12 Apr. 2023 Some of his paintings remain lost or misattributed, only described in text, while others that had previously appeared on the art market were sold into private, anonymous hands. Jacqui Palumbo, CNN, 6 Apr. 2023 Transgender bills: An editorial March 23 about bills restricting the rights of LGBTQ people misattributed the number of such bills filed in state legislatures to Human Rights Watch. Los Angeles Times, 24 Mar. 2023 The article also misattributed a statement and a quotation about the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank. New York Times, 21 Mar. 2023 However, fieldwork has indicated that eruptions may have occurred from those volcanoes and misattributed to Tanaga. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Mar. 2023 Is that just misattributed anxiety and projection? Simon Abrams, The New Yorker, 16 Feb. 2023 According to the study, this bias frequently leads us to misattribute the real cause of our behavior. Mark Travers, Forbes, 28 May 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'misattribute.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of misattribute was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near misattribute

Cite this Entry

“Misattribute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misattribute. Accessed 29 May. 2024.

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