Attributes



to regard as resulting from a specified cause; consider as caused by something indicated (usually followed by to):
She attributed his bad temper to ill health.
to consider as a quality or characteristic of the person, thing, group, etc., indicated:
He attributed intelligence to his colleagues.
to consider as made by the one indicated, especially with strong evidence but in the absence of conclusive proof:
to attribute a painting to an artist.
to regard as produced by or originating in the time, period, place, etc., indicated; credit; assign:
to attribute a work to a particular period; to attribute a discovery to a particular country.
something attributed as belonging to a person, thing, group, etc.; a quality, character, characteristic, or property:
Sensitivity is one of his attributes.
something used as a symbol of a particular person, office, or status:
A scepter is one of the attributes of a king.
Grammar. a word or phrase that is syntactically subordinate to another and serves to limit, identify, particularize, describe, or supplement the meaning of the form with which it is in construction. In the red house, red is an attribute of house.
Fine Arts. an object associated with or symbolic of a character, office, or quality, as the keys of St. Peter or the lion skin of Hercules.
Philosophy. (in the philosophy of Spinoza) any of the essential qualifications of God, thought and extension being the only ones known.
Compare 1 (def 4b).
Logic. (in a proposition) that which is affirmed or denied concerning the subject.
Obsolete. distinguished character; reputation.
Contemporary Examples

The other, speaking with an air of authority, attributes it to the irresistible deliciousness of the McRib.
Left Behind at Borders Bill Morris April 21, 2011

Weigel attributes the difficulties not so much to Ratzinger as to the Roman Curia and administration.
Holy Moly, He’s Done It Again Carl Bernstein February 17, 2009

Benioff: Melisandre is a tricky role, and very few actresses have all the attributes required.
Game of Thrones’ Creative Gurus Jace Lacob August 28, 2011

He attributes it, in part, to a growing partisan split among voters.
Even Local School Board Members Are Running Against Obama Center for Public Integrity October 1, 2014

Not like God in the sense of attributes—like God in the sense of, like God.
The Core Mormon Teaching the LDS Church Didn’t Jettison Jay Michaelson April 6, 2014

Historical Examples

He was worshiping not the animal-headed idols, but the attributes which they personified.
The Cat of Bubastes G. A. Henty

Its attributes of youth are the activity and eager life with which it is redundant.
Sketches from Memory Nathaniel Hawthorne

It possesses the attributes of Infinity, is indestructible, immortal, undying.
Ghosts I Have Seen Violet Tweedale

How then am I to know what attributes denote the possession of the immortal spark?
The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs

Wittichius, in his Methodus Simplicium, attributes to it the power of dispelling epidemic fevers and madness!
British Pomology Robert Hogg

verb (əˈtrɪbjuːt)
(transitive) usually foll by to. to regard as belonging (to), produced (by), or resulting (from); ascribe (to): to attribute a painting to Picasso
noun (ˈætrɪˌbjuːt)
a property, quality, or feature belonging to or representative of a person or thing
an object accepted as belonging to a particular office or position
(grammar)

an adjective or adjectival phrase
an attributive adjective

(logic) the property, quality, or feature that is affirmed or denied concerning the subject of a proposition
n.

“qualities belonging to someone or something,” c.1600; see attribute (n.).
v.

late 14c., “assign, bestow,” from Latin attributus, past participle of attribuere “assign to, add, bestow;” figuratively “to attribute, ascribe, impute,” from ad- “to” + tribuere “assign, give, bestow” (see tribute). Related: Attributed; attributing.
n.

“quality ascribed to someone,” late 14c., from Latin attributum “anything attributed,” noun use of neuter of attributus (see attribute (v.)). Distinguished from the verb by pronunciation.

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