Also found in: Legal.
To cite as the source or reason for something. A noun can be used between "attribute" and "to." I attribute my success to lots of hard work. That famous saying is usually, and incorrectly, attributed to Shakespeare.
attribute something to someone or something
to ascribe something to someone or something; to believe that someone or something is the source of something. We attribute our success to your good advice. I attribute all these ill-mannered memos to Andrew.
attribute something to somebody(slightly formal)
to say that someone else was responsible for creating something Any quotation included in your writing has to be attributed to the person who originally wrote it.
Usage notes: usually said about a piece of writing or an idea
attribute something to something(slightly formal)
to say that one thing is the result of something else The company attributed its decline to some bad investments.