ascribe


ascribe
ascribe, attribute, impute, assign, refer, credit, accredit, charge mean to lay something (creditable, discreditable, or neutral) to the account of a person or thing. The first four of these words are often used interchangeably without marked loss in precision, but they have distinctions in discriminating use.
One ascribes to a person or thing something which is not outwardly apparent but which may be inferred or conjectured (as a motive, a feeling, an opinion, or a value)
{

whatever else might be in her head, it was . . . neither love, nor romance, nor any of the emotions usually ascribed to the young - Sackville-W est

}
Also, one ascribes something whose origin is unknown or disputed to its conjectured source, cause, or author
{

a poem formerly ascribed to Chaucer

}
{

that conceit always ascribed to a lack of intelligence— Brownell

}
One attributes to a person or thing something (as a quality, a character, or a value) believed, usually on good grounds, to belong to it or to be appropriate to it, or something for which that person or thing is judged to be responsible or accountable
{

if he disclaimed the virtues attributed to him he should only accentuate his embarrassment— Mackenzie

}
{

a combination . . . might have attributed to it . . . the character of a monopoly merely by virtue of its size— Justice Holmes

}
{

the French had then given up their conventional trick of attributing Eleanor’s acts to her want of morals— Henry Adams

}
One imputes when one so definitely ascribes something to a person or, less often, a thing that the ascription is impressed on that person or thing. For this reason impute commonly but not invariably implies accusation and, often, its resulting stigma
{

how dare you, sir, impute such monstrous intentions to me?— Shaw

}
One assigns something to a person or thing when one deliberately and often as a result of critical study places it in a class (as of values, things, or occurrences)
{

more than one rejoinder declared that the importance I here assigned to criticism was excessive— Arnold

}
{

the temple of Baal Lebanon, which is assigned to the eleventh century B. C. —Clodd

}
Also, one assigns a reason for something when one definitely fixes or states the ground, excuse, or motive for that thing
{

it is impossible to assign any reason for his failure

}
Sometimes assign suggests allegation, but this connotation is usually derived from the context
{

whatever reason of discontent the farmers may assign, the true cause is this— Coleridge

}
One refers a thing or rarely a person to the class to which it belongs or to its origin when, after tracing it back, one assigns it to its proper category or to its ultimate cause or source
{

the aurora borealis is commonly referred to the class of electric phenomena

}
{

I am convinced that at least one half of their bad manners may be referred to their education— Quiller-Couch

}
One credits someone with something or something to someone when one ascribes the thing to some person or thing as its author, its agent, its source, or its explanation
{

people credited Moriarty’s queerness of manner and moody ways to the solitude— Kipling

}
{

I am sure both parties credited them with too much idealism and too little plain horse sense— Rose Macaulay

}
Sometimes credit suggests unwarranted belief
{

Aunty Rosa had credited him in the past with petty cunning and stratagem that had never entered into his head— Kipling

}
One accredits a person (rarely, a thing) with something (as a statement, an accomplishment, or a quality) or accredits something to a person when one accepts him as author, agent, or possessor
{

when a person stimulates us . . . we accredit him with an attractive personality— Weaver

}
{

savings accumulated in good times . . . must doubtless be accredited with some expectation of future . . . dividends— Hobson

}
{

several Bangor houses have been accredited to Bulfinch— Amer. Guide Series: Me.

}
Like credit, accredit is typically used of favorable attributions.
One charges something on or upon a person or thing when one fixes the responsibility for a fault, crime, or evil on him or it
{

crimes as base as any charged on me?— Cowper

}
{

the tyrannies . . . charged upon the New England oligarchy— Parrington

}
Analogous words: attach, *fasten, affix: *conjecture, surmise, guess: allege, advance, *adduce, cite

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ascribe — As*cribe , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Ascribed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Ascribing}.] [L. ascribere, adscribere, to ascribe; ad + scribere to write: cf. OF. ascrire. See {Scribe}.] 1. To attribute, impute, or refer, as to a cause; as, his death was ascribed… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ascribe — [ə skrīb′] vt. ascribed, ascribing [ME ascriben (also ascriven < OFr ascriv , stem of ascrire) < L ascribere < ad , to + scribere, to write: see SCRIBE] 1. to assign (something) to a supposed cause; impute; attribute 2. to regard… …   English World dictionary

  • ascribe — I verb accord, accredit, adsignare, affiliate, allege to belong, apply, appropriate, ascribere, assign, attach, attribuere, attribute, charge with, connect with, credit with, derive from, filiate, give, impute, point to, predicate, refer to,… …   Law dictionary

  • ascribe — ► VERB (ascribe to) 1) attribute (a particular cause, person, or period) to. 2) regard (a quality) as belonging to. DERIVATIVES ascribable adjective ascription noun. ORIGIN Latin ascribere, from scribere write …   English terms dictionary

  • ascribe to — index blame Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • ascribe — (v.) mid 14c., ascrive, from O.Fr. ascrivre to inscribe; attribute, impute, from L. ascribere to write in, to add to in a writing, from ad to (see AD (Cf. ad )) + scribere to write (see SCRIPT (Cf. script)). Spelling restored by 16c. Related …   Etymology dictionary

  • ascribe — [v] assign to source accredit, attribute, charge, credit, hang on, impute, lay, pin on*, refer, reference, set down; concepts 39,49 …   New thesaurus

  • ascribe to — phrasal verb [transitive] Word forms ascribe to : present tense I/you/we/they ascribe to he/she/it ascribes to present participle ascribing to past tense ascribed to past participle ascribed to formal 1) ascribe something to something to believe… …   English dictionary

  • ascribe — [[t]əskra͟ɪb[/t]] ascribes, ascribing, ascribed 1) VERB If you ascribe an event or condition to a particular cause, you say or consider that it was caused by that thing. [FORMAL] [V n to n] An autopsy eventually ascribed the baby s death to… …   English dictionary

  • ascribe — transitive verb (ascribed; ascribing) Etymology: Middle English, from Latin ascribere, from ad + scribere to write more at scribe Date: 15th century to refer to a supposed cause, source, or author • ascribable adjective Synonyms: ascribe,… …   New Collegiate Dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.