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.]


To attribute, impute, or refer, as to a cause; as, his death was ascribed to a poison; to ascribe an effect to the right cause; to ascribe such a book to such an author.

The finest [speech] that is ascribed to Satan in the whole poem. Addison.


To attribute, as a quality, or an appurtenance; to consider or allege to belong.

Syn. -- To Ascribe, Attribute, Impute. Attribute denotes, 1. To refer some quality or attribute to a being; as, to attribute power to God. 2. To refer something to its cause or source; as, to attribute a backward spring to icebergs off the coast. Ascribe is used equally in both these senses, but involves a different image. To impute usually denotes to ascribe something doubtful or wrong, and hence, in general literature, has commonly a bad sense; as, to impute unworthy motives. The theological sense of impute is not here taken into view.

More than good-will to me attribute naught. Spenser.

Ascribes his gettings to his parts and merit. Pope.

And fairly quit him of the imputed blame. Spenser.


© Webster 1913.

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