What does attribute mean?

Definitions for attribute
əˈtrɪb yut; ˈæ trəˌbyutat·tribute

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word attribute.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. property, attribute, dimensionnoun

    a construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished

    "self-confidence is not an endearing property"

  2. attributeverb

    an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of an entity

  3. impute, ascribe, assign, attributeverb

    attribute or credit to

    "We attributed this quotation to Shakespeare"; "People impute great cleverness to cats"

  4. assign, attributeverb

    decide as to where something belongs in a scheme

    "The biologist assigned the mushroom to the proper class"


  1. attributenoun

    A characteristic or quality of a thing.

    His finest attribute is his kindness.

  2. attributenoun

    A word that qualifies a noun.

    In the clause "My jacket is more expensive than yours", "My" is the attribute of "jacket".

  3. attributenoun

    The applicable option selection; a variable or a value.

    This packet has its coherency attribute set to zero.

  4. attributenoun

    That which is predicated or affirmed of a subject; a predicate; an accident.

  5. attributenoun

    A semantic item with which a method, etc. may be decorated.

    There are some more implementations which use C# attributes to define custom attributes specific to the AOP engine. Then the classes that need to be intercepted will be decorated with these custom attributes.

  6. attributeverb

    To ascribe (something) to a given cause, reason etc.

  7. attributeverb

    To associate ownership or authorship of (something) to someone.

    This poem is attributed to Browning.

  8. Etymology: From attributus past participle of attribuere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Attributenoun

    Etymology: from to attribute.

    Power, light, virtue, wisdom, and goodness, being all but attributes of one simple essence, and of one God, we in all admire, and in part discern. Walter Raleigh.

    Your vain poets after did mistake,
    Who ev’ry attribute a god did make. John Dryden, Tyr. Love.

    All the perfections of God are called his attributes; for he cannot be without them. Isaac Watts, Logick.

    They must have these three attributes; they must be men of courage, fearing God, and hating covetousness. Francis Bacon.

    His sceptre shews the force of temporal pow’r,
    The attribute to awe and majesty;
    But mercy is above this scepter’d sway,
    It is an attribute to God himself. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    The sculptor, to distinguish him, gave him, what the medallists call his proper attributes, a spear and a shield. Addison.

    It takes
    From our atchievements, though perform’d at height,
    The pith and marrow of our attribute. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

  2. To ATTRIBUTEverb

    Etymology: attribuo, Lat.

    To their very bare judgment somewhat a reasonable man would attribute, notwithstanding the common imbecillities which are incident unto our nature. Richard Hooker, b. ii.

    We attribute nothing to God that hath any repugnancy or contradiction in it. Power and wisdom have no repugnancy in them. John Tillotson.

    I have observed a Campania determine contrary to appearances, by the caution and conduct of a general, which were attributed to his infirmities. William Temple.

    The imperfection of telescopes is attributed to spherical glasses; and mathematicians have propounded to figure them by the conical sections. Isaac Newton, Opticks.


  1. attribute

    An attribute is a characteristic, quality, or feature of a person, object, or concept. It can also refer to a piece of information or data that pertains to a specific entity in a database or data structure in computer science.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Attributeverb

    to ascribe; to consider (something) as due or appropriate (to); to refer, as an effect to a cause; to impute; to assign; to consider as belonging (to)

  2. Attributenoun

    that which is attributed; a quality which is considered as belonging to, or inherent in, a person or thing; an essential or necessary property or characteristic

  3. Attributenoun


  4. Attributenoun

    a conventional symbol of office, character, or identity, added to any particular figure; as, a club is the attribute of Hercules

  5. Attributenoun

    quality, etc., denoted by an attributive; an attributive adjunct or adjective

  6. Etymology: [L. attributum.]


  1. Attribute

    In computing, an attribute is a specification that defines a property of an object, element, or file. It may also refer to or set the specific value for a given instance of such. For clarity, attributes should more correctly be considered metadata. An attribute is frequently and generally a property of a property. However, in actual usage, the term attribute can and is often treated as equivalent to a property depending on the technology being discussed. An attribute of an object usually consists of a name and a value; of an element, a type or class name; of a file, a name and extension. ⁕Each named attribute has an associated set of rules called operations: one doesn't add characters or manipulate and process an integer array as an image object— one doesn't process text as type floating point. ⁕It follows that an object definition can be extended by imposing data typing: a representation format, a default value, and legal operations and restrictions are all potentially involved in defining an attribute, or conversely, may be spoken of as attributes of that object's type. A JPEG file is not decoded by the same operations as a PNG or BMP file, nor is a floating point typed number operated upon by the rules applied to typed long integers.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Attribute

    at-trib′ūt, v.t. to ascribe, assign, or consider as belonging.—adj. Attrib′utable.—ns. At′tribute, that which is attributed: that which is inherent in, or inseparable from, anything: that which can be predicated of anything: a quality or property; Attribū′tion, act of attributing: that which is attributed: commendation.—adj. Attrib′utive, expressing an attribute.—n. a word denoting an attribute. [L. attribuĕre, -tributumad, to, tribu-ĕre, to give.]

Editors Contribution

  1. attribute

    A quality, facet or element of a animal or human consciousness, conscience, mind and soul.

    We have such beautiful qualities as humans and animals.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 25, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'attribute' in Nouns Frequency: #2604

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'attribute' in Verbs Frequency: #652

How to pronounce attribute?

How to say attribute in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of attribute in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of attribute in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of attribute in a Sentence

  1. Anonymous:

    Hanlon's RazorNever attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

  2. Denzil Suite:

    The allegations attribute this behavior to members of one of our fraternities. We have been and are currently still in the process of gathering information about this incident to determine what occurred and who may have been responsible, to date we do not have answers to either of these questions.

  3. Noel Sharkey:

    We as humans attribute human qualities to many things; designers have been using this for years -- even cars are designed to look like animals. The more lifelike, or animal like, it is, the more we attribute those qualities on to it, for me as a roboticist that is quite an impressive test, usually when you kick a robot like that it falls over.

  4. Eric Hoffer:

    People unfit for freedom - who cannot do much with it - are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an attribute of a "have" type of self. It says: leave me alone and I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities. The desire for power is basically an attribute of a "have not" type of self.

  5. Mahatma Gandhi:

    The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for attribute

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"attribute." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/attribute>.

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