From Old French ascrivre (“inscribe, attribute, impute”), from Latin āscrībō, from ad (“to”) + scrībō (“write”), from Proto-Indo-European *skrep-, *skreb- (“to engrave”). Cognate with Old English screpan (“to scrape, scratch”).
- (transitive) To attribute a cause or characteristic to someone or something.
- One may ascribe these problems to the federal government; however, at this stage it is unclear what caused them.
- (transitive) To attribute a book, painting or any work of art or literature to a writer or creator.
- It is arguable as to whether we can truly ascribe this play to Shakespeare.
- (nonstandard, with to) To believe in or agree with; subscribe.
1997, James A. Russell & José Miguel Fernández-Dols, The Psychology of Facial Expression, ISBN 0521587964, page 133:
- A survey of the literature reveals that many who have commented on the signaling of animals ascribe to the view that all of their communicative signals are manifestations of emotion or affect.
2010, Beverley Joan Taylor, Reflective Practice for Healthcare Professionals: A Practical Guide, ISBN 033523836X:
- If we take a holistic view of human beings, we ascribe to the idea that humans are multidimensional and that they are greater than the sum of their parts – for example, their physical, psychological and spiritual aspects.
attribute a cause or characteristic
attribute a book, etc