- transitive verb
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
ascribe, attribute, assign, impute, credit mean to lay something to the account of a person or thing. ascribe suggests an inferring or conjecturing of cause, quality, authorship <forged paintings formerly ascribed to masters>. attribute suggests less tentativeness than ascribe, less definiteness than assign <. assign implies ascribing with certainty or after deliberation <assigned the bones to the Cretaceous Period>. impute suggests ascribing something that brings discredit by way of accusation or blame <tried to impute sinister motives to my actions>. credit implies ascribing a thing or especially an action to a person or other thing as its agent, source, or explanation <credited his teammates for his success>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.