In more common language, you could think of attribution as ascribing "blame," especially when looking for the cause of someone's behavior. There are a variety of applications of this concept. For instance, the fundamental attribution error - one of the most well-known social psychological concepts - is a cognitive bias that deals with attributions of our own behaviors (and other people we consider part of our in-group) versus the behavior of others (the out-group).
If we see someone else, especially someone very dissimilar from ourselves (the out-group), do something mean or hurtful, we are more likely to attribute that behavior to personality: That is person is mean and hurtful. On the other hand, if we do something mean or hurtful, we are more likely to attribute that behavior to the situation: I was having a bad day. The reverse is true for positive behaviors. The behavior of the other is attributed to the situation: That person must be having a good day; while our own behavior is attributed to personality: I'm just a nice person. This tendency explains why, even after observing others engaging in positive behavior, we can still hold prejudicial views toward certain groups, because we explain away the good behaviors and over-emphasize the bad behaviors.
These are just a few examples of the ways we attribute behaviors and events, but attribution is something we all engage in multiple times a day. Sometimes our attributions are accurate, other times they can be horribly biased.