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attribute
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Sense and Sensibility
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attribute
Used In
Sense and Sensibility
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as in: I attribute it to... Define
to credit (a source for something) -- such as:
  • to say that something happened because of someone or something else (give credit or blame)
  • to say that an idea or quotation came from a specified source

  • The whole family perceived it, and Mrs. Dashwood, attributing it to some want of liberality in his mother, sat down to table indignant against all selfish parents.
  • His want of spirits, of openness, and of consistency, were most usually attributed to his want of independence, and his better knowledge of Mrs. Ferrars’s disposition and designs.

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  • She joined them sometimes at Sir John’s, sometimes at her own house; but wherever it was, she always came in excellent spirits, full of delight and importance, attributing Charlotte’s well doing to her own care, and ready to give so exact, so minute a detail of her situation, as only Miss Steele had curiosity enough to desire.
  • …from the state of her spirits, to be pleased with the Miss Steeles, or to encourage their advances; and to the invariable coldness of her behaviour towards them, which checked every endeavour at intimacy on their side, Elinor principally attributed that preference of herself which soon became evident in the manners of both, but especially of Lucy, who missed no opportunity of engaging her in conversation, or of striving to improve their acquaintance by an easy and frank communication…
  • —Her emotion was such as Mrs. Jennings had attributed to a very different cause;—but whatever minor feelings less pure, less pleasing, might have a share in that emotion, her esteem for the general benevolence, and her gratitude for the particular friendship, which together prompted Colonel Brandon to this act, were strongly felt, and warmly expressed.
  • …Robert exclaimed to her himself in the course of a quarter of an hour’s conversation; for, talking of his brother, and lamenting the extreme GAUCHERIE which he really believed kept him from mixing in proper society, he candidly and generously attributed it much less to any natural deficiency, than to the misfortune of a private education; while he himself, though probably without any particular, any material superiority by nature, merely from the advantage of a public school, was as…

  • There are no more uses of "attribute" identified with this meaning, but check unspecified meaning below.

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  • She attributed this quotation to Shakespeare.
  • She attributes her success to hard work.

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unspecified meaning
  • But with a strange kind of tenderness, if he can leave her with such indifference, such carelessness of the future, as you attribute to him.
  • Elinor answered in some distress that she was, and then talked of head-aches, low spirits, and over fatigues; and of every thing to which she could decently attribute her sister’s behaviour.

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  • That some kind of engagement had subsisted between Willoughby and Marianne she could not doubt, and that Willoughby was weary of it, seemed equally clear; for however Marianne might still feed her own wishes, SHE could not attribute such behaviour to mistake or misapprehension of any kind.
  • Her sister, however, still sanguine, was willing to attribute the change to nothing more than the fatigue of having sat up to have her bed made; and carefully administering the cordials prescribed, saw her, with satisfaction, sink at last into a slumber, from which she expected the most beneficial effects.
  • She was calm, except when she thought of her mother; but she was almost hopeless; and in this state she continued till noon, scarcely stirring from her sister’s bed, her thoughts wandering from one image of grief, one suffering friend to another, and her spirits oppressed to the utmost by the conversation of Mrs. Jennings, who scrupled not to attribute the severity and danger of this attack to the many weeks of previous indisposition which Marianne’s disappointment had brought on.

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To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: It is an attribute of... Define
a characteristic (of something or someone)
as in: I attribute it to... Define
to credit (a source for something) -- such as:
  • to say that something happened because of someone or something else (give credit or blame)
  • to say that an idea or quotation came from a specified source

Show Multiple Meanings
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