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
That spring a new disease broke out among the soldiers, a swelling of the arms, legs, and face, which the doctors attributed to eating this root.
It is only because military men are invested with pomp and power and crowds of sychophants flatter power, attributing to it qualities of genius it does not possess.
She noticed this and attributed it to his general kindness and shyness, which she imagined must be the same toward everyone as it was to her.
Had the Russian army been alone without any allies, it might perhaps have been a long time before this consciousness of mismanagement became a general conviction, but as it was, the disorder was readily and naturally attributed to the stupid Germans, and everyone was convinced that a dangerous muddle had been occasioned by the sausage eaters.
The French attributed the Fire of Moscow au patriotisme feroce de Rostopchine, * the Russians to the barbarity of the French.
Prince Andrew looked closely into those mirrorlike, impenetrable eyes, and felt that it had been ridiculous of him to have expected anything from Speranski and from any of his own activities connected with him, or ever to have attributed importance to what Speranski was doing.
Anticipation that the failure of the Petersburg Berezina plan would be attributed to Kutuzov led to dissatisfaction, contempt, and ridicule, more and more strongly expressed.
She attributed immense importance to all her husband’s intellectual and abstract interests though she did not understand them, and she always dreaded being a hindrance to him in such matters.
That she had not heard from Prince Andrew himself, Princess Mary attributed to his being too weak to write or to his considering the long journey too hard and too dangerous for her and his son.
It is easy now to understand the significance of these events—if only we abstain from attributing to the activity of the mass aims that existed only in the heads of a dozen individuals—for the events and results now lie before us.
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So one might have thought that regarding this period of the campaign the historians, who attributed the actions of the mass to the will of one man, would have found it impossible to make the story of the retreat fit their theory.
What did it matter to him—who then alone amid a senseless crowd understood the whole tremendous significance of what was happening—what did it matter to him whether Rostopchin attributed the calamities of Moscow to him or to himself?
The source of this contradiction lies in the fact that the historians studying the events from the letters of the sovereigns and the generals, from memoirs, reports, projects, and so forth, have attributed to this last period of the war of 1812 an aim that never existed, namely that of cutting off and capturing Napoleon with his marshals and his army.
Pierre’s subjection consisted in the fact that he not only dared not flirt with, but dared not even speak smilingly to, any other woman; did not dare dine at the Club as a pastime, did not dare spend money on a whim, and did not dare absent himself for any length of time, except on business—in which his wife included his intellectual pursuits, which she did not in the least understand but to which she attributed great importance.
The third and most incomprehensible thing is that people studying history deliberately avoid seeing that this flank march cannot be attributed to any one man, that no one ever foresaw it, and that in reality, like the retreat from Fili, it did not suggest itself to anyone in its entirety, but resulted—moment by moment, step by step, event by event—from an endless number of most diverse circumstances and was only seen in its entirety when it had been accomplished and belonged to the…
This is what they have done with me!" thought he, full of an irrepressible fury that welled up within him against the someone to whom what was happening might be attributed.
There are no more uses of "attribute" identified with this meaning, but check unspecified meaning below.
It seems as though mankind has forgotten the laws of its divine Saviour, Who preached love and forgiveness of injuries—and that men attribute the greatest merit to skill in killing one another.
Whence came thy conception of the existence of such an incomprehensible Being? didst thou, and why did the whole world, conceive the idea of the existence of such an incomprehensible Being, a Being all-powerful, eternal, and infinite in all His attributes?
Not only does a good army commander not need any special qualities, on the contrary he needs the absence of the highest and best human attributes—love, poetry, tenderness, and philosophic inquiring doubt.
Conjectures as to Napoleon’s awareness of the danger of extending his line, and (on the Russian side) as to luring the enemy into the depths of Russia, are evidently of that kind, and only by much straining can historians attribute such conceptions to Napoleon and his marshals, or such plans to the Russian commanders.
Russian authors are still fonder of telling us that from the commencement of the campaign a Scythian war plan was adopted to lure Napoleon into the depths of Russia, and this plan some of them attribute to Pfuel, others to a certain Frenchman, others to Toll, and others again to Alexander himself—pointing to notes, projects, and letters which contain hints of such a line of action.
Pierre’s insanity consisted in not waiting, as he used to do, to discover personal attributes which he termed "good qualities" in people before loving them; his heart was now overflowing with love, and by loving people without cause he discovered indubitable causes for loving them.
"I see through you and three yards under you," he repeated, knowing that his skill in beekeeping, his knowledge of the right time to sow the oats, and the fact that he had been able to retain the old prince’s favor for twenty years had long since gained him the reputation of being a wizard, and that the power of seeing three yards under a man is considered an attribute of wizards.
The replies this theory gives to historical questions are like the replies of a man who, watching the movements of a herd of cattle and paying no attention to the varying quality of the pasturage in different parts of the field, or to the driving of the herdsman, should attribute the direction the herd takes to what animal happens to be at its head.
There are no more uses of "attribute" in the book.