1 : to lay the responsibility or blame for often falsely or unjustly
2 : to credit to a person or a cause
Did You Know?
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."
"Now, one comment in reaction to my essay said that by talking about the city's problems and not its promise, I was in the business of tearing down Syracuse. At LeMoyne, I was taught that the most dangerous thing to do in argument was to impute motives to your opponent." — Carl Schramm, Forbes.com, 4 Mar. 2013
"The CAS panel concluded that Sharapova's case 'was not about an athlete who cheated.' Instead, the panel found, 'It was only about the degree of fault that can be imputed to a player for her failure to make sure that the substance contained in a product she had been legally taking over a long period … remained in compliance." — Tom Perrotta, The Wall Street Journal, 4 Oct. 2016
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