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Middle English], from Latin attributus, past participle of attribuere to attribute, from ad- + tribuere to bestow — more at tribute

1 : an inherent characteristic; also : an accidental quality 2 : an object closely associated with or belonging to a specific person, thing, or office <a scepter is the attribute of power>; especially : such an object used for identification in painting or sculpture 3 : a word ascribing a quality