ac·​count·​abil·​i·​ty | \ ə-ˌkau̇n-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce accountability (audio) \

Definition of accountability

: the quality or state of being accountable especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions public officials lacking accountability

Examples of accountability in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Titus hires, promotes and rewards exclusively based on its core values: passion, excellence, integrity, accountability, results, servanthood, entrepreneurism and fun. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Top Workplaces 2021: Titus Talent Strategies, Rent-A-Daughter, Touching Hearts at Home land top honors in small business category," 7 May 2021 The sweeping bill contains a variety of measures that mostly address online charter school accountability, finance and operations. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "CA Assembly committee advances school accountability bill that charter schools oppose," 29 Apr. 2021 Since Brown was shot and killed, there have been a number of peaceful protests calling for transparency, accountability, and justice. Danielle Campoamor,, "Police Shot & Killed Andrew Brown — Why Won’t They Release The Bodycam Footage?," 27 Apr. 2021 The House and Senate passed a bill drafted by the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus addressing police accountability, which was signed into law on April 1. Alexandra Kukulka,, "Area legislators reflect on 2021 session: Budget, police accountability bill big wins, others say redistricting should’ve been addressed," 27 Apr. 2021 Each chapter of the film is named for a different emotion: intuition, denial, anger, apathy, emptiness, accountability, reformation, forgiveness, resurrection, hope, and redemption, and at every layer, another element is unpacked. Essence, "How 'Lemonade' Shifted Beyoncé’s Art And Career," 23 Apr. 2021 Curtis Mueller, who’s worked in information technology and the nonprofit sector, said his top priorities are improving police accountability, government transparency, infrastructure and services for people experiencing homelessness. Marina Starleaf Riker, San Antonio Express-News, "Here's who's running for City Council Districts 4, 6, 7 and 8," 23 Apr. 2021 Now, for Abdalla and other Black teenagers living in the city where Floyd was murdered, Chauvin's conviction feels like long overdue accountability, but not justice. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "For Black teens in Minneapolis, Chauvin's guilty verdict only held him accountable. They're still waiting for justice.," 22 Apr. 2021 Breathe for the movement now demanding long-overdue reform in some of the darkest areas of policing, for what for too long seemed impossible: true accountability. Roy S. Johnson |, al, "We breathed again, again, and again. Like George Floyd could not.," 20 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accountability.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of accountability

1750, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for accountability

accountable + -ity

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about accountability

Time Traveler for accountability

Time Traveler

The first known use of accountability was in 1750

See more words from the same year

Statistics for accountability

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Accountability.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Comments on accountability

What made you want to look up accountability? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!