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Impute means to ascribe or attribute; to impute is the action of attributing a person with knowledge, liability, duty, or other various forms of responsibility. The act of imputing is indifferent to whether or not the imputee had sought or accepted those various forms of responsibility. 

To impute also could mean to place responsibility or blame on a person for acts of another person due to their relationship. Many forms of imputation result from the law of agency. For example, an agent’s knowledge will be imputed to their principal’s knowledge. 

One must be sure to differentiate the word infer from impute. The word infer is a less specific term, which does not claim that a person has absolute knowledge of something. However, the word impute indicates that a person would have the corresponding knowledge or duty.

[Last updated in April of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]