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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Ascribe \As*cribe"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Ascribed; p. pr. & vb. n. Ascribing.] [L. ascribere, adscribere, to ascribe; ad + scribere to write: cf. OF. ascrire. See Scribe.] 1. To attribute, impute, or refer, as to a cause; as, his death was ascribed to a poison; to ascribe an effect to the right cause; to ascribe such a book to such an author. [1913 Webster] The finest [speech] that is ascribed to Satan in the whole poem. --Addison. [1913 Webster] 2. To attribute, as a quality, or an appurtenance; to consider or allege to belong. [1913 Webster] Syn: To Ascribe, Attribute, Impute. Usage: Attribute denotes, 1. To refer some quality or attribute to a being; as, to attribute power to God. 2. To refer something to its cause or source; as, to attribute a backward spring to icebergs off the coast. Ascribe is used equally in both these senses, but involves a different image. To impute usually denotes to ascribe something doubtful or wrong, and hence, in general literature, has commonly a bad sense; as, to impute unworthy motives. The theological sense of impute is not here taken into view. [1913 Webster] More than good-will to me attribute naught. --Spenser. [1913 Webster] Ascribes his gettings to his parts and merit. --Pope. [1913 Webster] And fairly quit him of the imputed blame. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]