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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun attribute:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb attribute:


The word attribute and its family (attributable, attributed, attributes, attributing, attribution) are included in the Academic Word List by Dr. Averil Coxhead, which contains the 570 most frequent word families used in academic texts from a variety of subject areas, of interest for students that learn the words most needed to study at tertiary institutions.

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Definition of the noun attribute

What does attribute mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: attributes

  1. a construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished
  2. an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of an entity
    • lexical domain: Tops - unique beginner for nouns
    • more generic terms: abstract entity / abstraction = a general concept formed by extracting common features from specific examples
    • more specific terms:
      • state = the way something is with respect to its main attributes
      • shape / form = the spatial arrangement of something as distinct from its substance
      • time = the continuum of experience in which events pass from the future through the present to the past
      • infinite / space = the unlimited expanse in which everything is located
      • human nature = the shared psychological attributes of humankind that are assumed to be shared by all human beings
      • trait = a distinguishing feature of your personal nature
      • character = an attribute (structural or functional) that is determined by a gene or group of genes
      • thing = any attribute or quality considered as having its own existence
      • common denominator = an attribute that is common to all members of a category
      • personality = the complex of all the attributes--behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental--that characterize a unique individual
      • cheerfulness / sunniness / sunshine / cheer = the quality of being cheerful and dispelling gloom
      • uncheerfulness = not conducive to cheer or good spirits
      • ballast = an attribute that tends to give stability in character and morals
      • ethos = the distinctive spirit of a culture or an era
      • eidos = the distinctive expression of the cognitive or intellectual character of a culture or a social group
      • quality = an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone
      • property = a basic or essential attribute shared by all members of a class
      • inheritance / heritage = any attribute or immaterial possession that is inherited from ancestors
      • depth = the attribute or quality of being deep, strong, or intense

Alternative definition of the noun attribute


  1. A characteristic or quality of a thing.
  2. [grammar] A word that qualifies a noun.
  3. [computing] The applicable option selection; a variable or a value.
  4. [logic] That which is predicated or affirmed of a subject; a predicate; an accident.
  5. [computing, programming] A semantic item with which a method, etc. may be decorated.

Definition of the noun attribute for high school students

    a facet or trait
    • example: Among the beetle's most peculiar attributes is its thorny protruding eyes.

The noun attribute is considered to be a word that all college-aspiring students should know and understand, so it frequently appears on the SAT, ACT and other college admissions tests.

Specialised definition of the noun attribute

Glossary of sports

a feature of someone's personality such as perfectionism, dedication or single-mindedness (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

Definition of the verb attribute

What does attribute mean as a doing word?

Attribute is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: attributed | attributing | attributes

  1. attribute or credit to
  2. decide as to where something belongs in a scheme

Alternative definition of the verb attribute


  1. To ascribe (something) [term, to] a given cause, reason etc.
  2. To associate ownership or authorship of (something) [term, to] someone.

Definition of the verb attribute for high school students

    to credit, assign
    • example: He attributes all of his success to his mother's undying encouragement.

The verb attribute is considered to be a word that all college-aspiring students should know and understand, so it frequently appears on the SAT, ACT and other college admissions tests.


  1. Attribute: In computing, an attribute is a specification that defines a property of an object, element, or file. It may also refer to or set the specific value for a given instance of such. For clarity, attributes should more correctly be considered metadata. An attribute is frequently and generally a property of a property. However, in actual usage, the term attribute can and is often treated as equivalent to a property depending on the technology being discussed. An attribute of an object usually consists of a name and a value; of an element, a type or class name; of a file, a name and extension.
  2. Attribute: An attribute is a piece of data that describes to what extent a fictional character in a role-playing game possesses a specific natural, in-born characteristic common to all characters in the game. That piece of data is usually an abstract number or, in some cases, a set of dice. Some games use different terms to refer to an attribute, such as statistic, characteristic or ability. A number of role-playing games like Fate do not use attributes at all.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Attribute

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Google previewCarl Sandburg Home National Historic Site (N.H.S.), General Management Plan (2003)

Environmental Impact Statement

m Amphitheater Relocation m Factor: Amount of natural shade present at site Criteria: Shaded from sun all day is preferred condition Scale of Assessment: Subjective assessment - A high attribute means shade is abundant Minimum standard: ...

Google previewStimulating Innovation in Products and Services (2006)

With Function Analysis and Mapping by J. Jerry Kaufman, Roy Woodhead

An attribute is a range of inherent characteristics of a product or process that affects its value perception in the eyes of the customer.

In the case of time, the attribute is the line on which continuous data can be represented.

Google previewSupply Chain Sustainability and Raw Material Management: Concepts and Processes (2011)

Concepts and Processes by Farahani, Reza Zanjirani

The next attribute is the Depletion of The Purchased Products. Products with shorter life must be refilled with more attention, based on this fact it is an important factor in purchasing planning. After gathering some information about the products ...

Google previewProceedings of the Third International Conference on Data and Knowledge Bases (2014)

Improving Usability and Responsiveness by C. Beeri, J. W. Schmidt, U. Dayal

An attribute is a name in a relation scheme. A relation...

Google previewCCIE Routing and Switching v4.0 Quick Reference (2010)

by Brad Ellis, Jacob Uecker, Steven Means

Because the community attribute is a transitive optional attribute, routers that do not support communities pass them along unchanged. To define your own communities, ...

Google previewStriking Out (2011)

The Religious Journey of Teenage Boys by Donald Capps

The first attribute is that the person has a variety of psychogenic interests that concern themselves with ideal objects and values beyond the range of purely physiological desire. This is “the avenue of widening interests” reflective of the ...

Google previewImplementing Cisco IP Routing (ROUTE) Foundation Learning Guide (2014)

(CCNP ROUTE 300-101) by Diane Teare, Bob Vachon, Rick Graziani

The community attribute is an optional transitive attribute. If a router does not understand the concept of communities, it passes it on to the next router. However, if the router does understand the concept, it must be configured to propagate the ...

Google previewDictionary of XML Technologies and the Semantic Web (2012)

by Vladimir Geroimenko

Location step H– attribute:: name —HTH Figure A.16 The “attribute" axis. <xs: element name="PlanState"> <xs: complexTypeElement *{ Sxs: attribute name=" agreed" type="xs:boolean"/> </xs:COTDTEXTypes | Figure A.17. An example of an ...

Google previewThe Dictionary of Multimedia 1999 (2014)

Terms and Acronyms by Brad Hansen

There aretwo kindsof enumerated types: Enumerated Attribute Types A NOTATION attribute associated systemand/or identifiesanotation, declared in the DTD with public identifiers, to be used in interpreting the element to which the attribute is ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Geographic Information Science (2008)

by Karen Kemp

Attribute information is used in making maps, distinguishing the characteristics of locations, and performing spatial analyses. Vector Attributes In the case of vector data, each feature in the data set is generally described using multiple ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Third Edition (2014)

by Khosrow-Pour, Mehdi

It describes possible transition of objects from one state to another with respect to a specific attribute, called the decision attribute. The goal of action rules is to provide system users with actionable tasks that can be directly applied to objects ...

Google previewDictionary of Statistics & Methodology (2005)

A Nontechnical Guide for the Social Sciences by W. Paul Vogt

Attribute (a) A *qualitative variable or trait, often used in contrast with a * quantitative variable or trait. This is the same basic distinction as that between * categorical (attribute) and *continuous (quantitative) variables. Compare * attribute variable.

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Attribute

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Video language resources about Attribute

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Quotes about Attribute

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. (Mahatma Gandhi)
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Scrabble value of A1T1T1R1I1B3U1T1E1

The value of this 9-letter word is 11 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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