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noun re·spon·si·bil·i·ty \ri-ˌspän(t)-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē\

Simple Definition of responsibility

  • : the state of being the person who caused something to happen

  • : a duty or task that you are required or expected to do

  • : something that you should do because it is morally right, legally required, etc.

Full Definition of responsibility

plural re·spon·si·bil·i·ties

  1. 1 :  the quality or state of being responsible: as a :  moral, legal, or mental accountability b :  reliability, trustworthiness

  2. 2 :  something for which one is responsible :  burden <has neglected his responsibilities>

Examples of responsibility

  1. … Landau's piece, examining the fan's, and the journalist's responsibility to rock stars … —Lawrence Dietz, Los Angeles Times Book Review, 23 May 1971

  2. A great soprano has a responsibility to her public … —Robert Evett, Atlantic, September 1970

  3. The responsibility for engineering the line of cars which in 1908 evolved the immortal Model T … —John Kenneth Galbraith, New York Times Book Review, 28 Feb. 1954

  4. Anthony Burton had once said that this was your responsibility toward society. —John P. Marquand, Atlantic, Nov. 1947

  5. The boys denied any responsibility for the damage to the fence.

  6. A terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

  7. The janitor has many responsibilities.

  8. Mowing the lawn is your responsibility.

  9. She has to deal with a lot of family and work responsibilities.

  10. It is your responsibility to give the company two weeks notice if you decide to leave.

  11. In her new position, she will have much more responsibility.

  12. We have a responsibility to protect the environment.

  13. The government's responsibility is to serve the public.

  14. The principal has responsibility for 450 students and a staff of 35.

Origin of responsibility

(see responsible)

First Known Use: 1771

Seen and Heard

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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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