Ascribe vs subscribe

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Ascribe and subscribe are two words that are very similar in pronunciation and spelling, but have two different meanings. We’ll examine the difference between ascribe and subscribe, their meanings and origin. We’ll also look at a few examples of their use in sentences.

Ascribe means to designate something as having caused something else. Ascribe may also be used to mean to categorize something as belonging to a certain origin. Ascribe also means to consider as a quality that belongs to a certain thing or idea. Ascribe is a verb, derived from the Old French word ascrivre which means to attribute. Related words are ascribes, ascribed, ascribing, ascribable.

Subscribe means to arrange for regular delivery of media by paying in advance, such as subscribing to a magazine. Subscribe might also mean to inscribe a document with one’s signature. However, there is a definition of subscribe that is often confused with the word ascribe. Subscribe may mean to be in agreement or to approve. Remember the difference between the two words is ascribe means to credit or attribute, subscribe may mean to agree or approve. The word subscribe is derived from the Latin word subscribere which means to sign or register. Related words are subscribes, subscribed, subscribing, subscription.


According to him: “We must build our nation, if miscreants carry out some heinous activities, we should call them by their name and not ascribe it to a tribe. (The Vanguard)

“Because after listening to lots of valid criticism, I see how unfair it is to ascribe misogynistic thoughts to someone I don’t know AT ALL.” (The New York Daily News)

In return, customers are given voice, text, and LTE data, depending on the plan they subscribe to — the first plan includes 200 minutes of voice, 50 text messages, and 10MB of data. (The Business Insider)

I don’t subscribe to the idea that our school district is racist specifically, but I can see where this mantra and ideology have been exploited ad nauseam to the point of total ineffectiveness. (The Riverhead News-Review)