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
She attributed this quotation to Shakespeare.
She attributes her success to hard work.
Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it to Snowball.
George Orwell -- Animal Farm
To what, commander, do you attribute your remarkable success?
Orson Scott Card -- Ender’s Game
Great floods and rains had swollen the waters that flowed east; and there had been an earthquake or two (which some were inclined to attribute to the dragon)...
J.R.R. Tolkien -- The Hobbit
It can be something you made up for yourself or something you’ve read somewhere that means something to you. (If so, don’t forget the attribution, please!)
R.J. Palacio -- Wonder
Much of the marble coldness of Hester’s impression was to be attributed to the circumstance that her life had turned, in a great measure, from passion and feeling to thought.
Nathaniel Hawthorne -- The Scarlet Letter
The fact that I am now ... at the mercy of Mr and Mrs Taylor’s generosity on this night, is attributable to one foolish, infuriatingly simple oversight:
Kazuo Ishiguro -- The Remains of the Day
A fragrance was diffused from it which Giovanni recognized as identical with that which he had attributed to Beatrice’s breath,
Nathaniel Hawthorne -- Rappaccini’s Daughter
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Sukeena’s recovery impresses me greatly, and I attribute that recovery in no small part to both her herbs and my prayer.
Stephen King -- Rose Red
Was he really a coward, as his son had so brutally pointed out? Certainly, in World War I, he considered himself one. He attributed his survival to it.
Markus Zusak -- The Book Thief
The plastering had here, in great measure, resisted the action of the fire—a fact which I attributed to its having been recently spread.
Edgar Allan Poe -- The Black Cat
As usual, he didn’t ask about my day, preferring to work in silence. Yesterday I’d attributed it to the fact that we were strangers; today I understood that there was a possibility we always would be.
Nicholas Sparks -- Dear John
If I’d been paying more attention, maybe I would have seen what was happening. As it was, though, I just attributed it to us all getting used to one another, and figured everything would work out eventually-at least until that night in early July.
Sarah Dessen -- Just Listen
Giving him the benefit of the doubt, we attributed this behavior to shock.
Gillian Flynn -- Gone Girl
I explained to him that I nearly died because of his temper and attributed my finding a hiding place to you.
Kiera Cass -- The Elite
"It’s attributed to Pablo Picasso, and as most of you probably realize, he’s the only non-American artist whose work will be featured in today’s auction.
Nicholas Sparks -- The Longest Ride
Families, teachers, and courts were sending thousands to institutions for eccentricities that were less attributable to acute mental illness than resistance to social, cultural, or sexual norms.
Bryan Stevenson -- Just Mercy
He attributed this to the fact that Gabby had worked hard to create a home that made people feel comfortable as soon as the door was opened.
Nicholas Sparks -- The Choice
Whenever and wherever men have engaged in the mindless slaughter of animals (including other men), they have often attempted to justify their acts by attributing the most vicious or revolting qualities to those they would destroy; and the less reason there is for the slaughter, the greater the campaign of vilification.
Farley Mowat -- Never Cry Wolf
Though I attributed it more to the laws of probability than from any human kindness.
Patrick Rothfuss -- The Name of the Wind
Even the town had another name, Bedleyville (this my attribution), which was changed sometime in the early 1970s because the town board decided it wasn’t affluent-sounding enough.
Chang-rae Lee -- A Gesture Life
I attributed it to the sadness of our leaving, but I was wrong.
Pittacus Lore -- I Am Number Four
She attributed her success to sleep, good food and muscular control.
Judy Blume -- In the Unlikely Event
[To this] fact, as much to the wind or the drought, is to be attributed the so rapid spread of the flames as to place them beyond all control or power of mastery.
Jim Murphy -- The Great Fire
The smiling, mischievous Prophet I knew in class did not seem capable of the violence attributed to him by his peers.
Pat Conroy -- The Water is Wide
More typical than such humanitarian concerns, however, was a contempt for southern ignorance and backwardness, which many Yankee soldiers attributed to slavery.
James M. McPherson -- What They Fought For - 1861-1865
On the other hand, Sophie attributed the convergence of their paths simply to the failure of chiropractic medicine.
William Styron -- Sophie’s Choice
Whatever they were, the slowness of my breathing did not seem to be attributable only to the power of Geilie’s suggestion.
Diana Gabaldon -- Outlander
Fewer than a dozen works accurately attributed to him.
Donna Tartt -- The Goldfinch
James Patterson -- 1st to Die
I had attributed her misery to the morphling withdrawal.
Suzanne Collins -- Mockingjay
"The mass exodus of the children of Abnegation leaders cannot be ignored or attributed to coincidence," he reads.
Veronica Roth -- Divergent
Perhaps some of the merchants were a little generous in their trades, but I always attributed that to their long-standing relationship with my father.
Suzanne Collins -- The Hunger Games
Albert attributed to Franz’s absence the extreme kindness of the fair peasant in raising her mask.
Alexandre Dumas -- The Count of Monte Cristo
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.
Leo Tolstoy -- War and Peace
To find a documented poisoning attributable to wild sweet pea, I had to go all the way back to the nineteenth-century annals of Arctic exploration.
Jon Krakauer -- Into the Wild
To a musket that broke in a crisis he always attributed the death of his only brother, and upon worthless blankets he blamed all the agonies of his own old age.
Upton Sinclair -- The Jungle
Pink marble is caused by the presence of manganese oxides, gray marble is due to carbonaceous matter, yellow marble is attributed to a hydrous oxide of iron.
Ayn Rand -- The Fountainhead
He attributed it, I believe, to a political cause.
Alexandre Dumas -- The Three Musketeers
I have often attributed my attachment to, my passionate enthusiasm for, the dangerous mysteries of ocean to that production of the most imaginative of modern poets.
Mary Shelley -- Frankenstein
Something, he supposed, might be attributed to his connection with them, but yet he had never met with so much attention in the whole course of his life.
Jane Austen -- Pride and Prejudice
The rising and setting of the sun was once attributed to Helios and a flaming chariot.
Dan Brown -- Angels & Demons
For they attributed to the king of old all their essential laws; and usually they kept the laws of free will, because they were The Rules (as they said), both ancient and just.
J.R.R. Tolkien -- The Fellowship of the Ring
A lot of the magic attributed to the People is just superstition.
Eoin Colfer -- Artemis Fowl
All the sentiments as well as all the memories which one might have attributed to him had disappeared.
Victor Hugo -- Les Miserables
Justice, too, obliges the author to state that the fairness of mind and generosity attributed to St. Clare are not without a parallel, as the following anecdote will show.
Harriet Beecher Stowe -- Uncle Tom’s Cabin
It had had plenty of room to expand, thanks to the spare diet of the establishment; and perhaps to this circumstance may be attributed his having any ninth birth-day at all.
Charles Dickens -- Oliver Twist
Nor was it due to the mysterious interpretations attributed her by many art historians and conspiracy buffs.