See also: Attribute


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From Latin attributus past participle of attribuere.




Examples (grammar)
  • My jacket is more expensive than yours. ("my" qualifies "jacket")

attribute (plural attributes)

  1. A characteristic or quality of a thing.
    His finest attribute is his kindness.
  2. An object that is considered typical of someone or some function, in particular as an artistic convention.
    The eagle and the bolt of lightning are attributes of Jove.
  3. (grammar) A word that qualifies a noun.
    Synonym: qualifier
  4. (logic) That which is predicated or affirmed of a subject; a predicate; an accident.
  5. (computing, object-oriented programming) An option or setting belonging to some object.
    This packet has its coherency attribute set to zero.
    A file with the read-only attribute set cannot be overwritten.
  6. (programming) A semantic item with which a method or other code element may be decorated.
    Properties can be marked as obsolete with an attribute, which will cause the compiler to generate a warning if they are used.
    • 2003, Peter Drayton, Ben Albahari, Ted Neward, C# in a Nutshell (page 536)
      This attribute is used to declare in metadata that the attributed method or class requires SocketPermission of the declared form.
  7. (computer graphics, dated) A numeric value representing the colours of part of the screen display.
    • 1987, Marcus Berkmann, Sceptre Of Bagdad (video game review) in Your Sinclair issue 17
      [] you can only carry two objects, your attributes clash when you walk past multi-coloured objects and your enemies fly up and down from the ceiling.
    • 1989, PC: The Independent Guide to IBM Personal Computers
      If any of the video buffer's background attribute bits are on, MONO converts the attribute to 70h (inverse video).


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Related termsEdit



attribute (third-person singular simple present attributes, present participle attributing, simple past and past participle attributed)

  1. To ascribe (something) to a given cause, reason etc.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, chapter I, in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A[ndrew] Millar, [], OCLC 928184292, book IV:
      For as this is the liquor of modern historians, nay, perhaps their muse, if we may believe the opinion of Butler, who attributes inspiration to ale, it ought likewise to be the potation of their readers, since every book ought to be read with the same spirit and in the same manner as it is writ.
  2. To associate ownership or authorship of (something) to someone.
    This poem is attributed to Browning.
    • 1663, John Tillotson, The Wisdom of being Religious:
      We attribute nothing to God that hath any repugnancy or contradiction in it.
    • c. 1604–1605 (date written), William Shakespeare, “All’s VVell, that Ends VVell”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene vi], page 244, column 1:
      It is to be recouered, but that the merit of ſeruice is ſeldom attributed to the true and exact performer, I would haue that drumme or another, or hic iacet.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 278:
      Hākim's atypical actions should not be attributed to Islam as much as to insanity, which eventually led him to proclaim himself as Allah, whereupon he was murdered by outraged fellow Muslims.


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Further readingEdit






  1. vocative masculine singular of attribūtus