ac·count·abil·i·ty | \ ə-ˌkau̇n-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē \

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

The Paris agreement relies on a similar dynamic: the power of reputational risk to do the work of accountability. David Roberts, Vox, "The Netherlands contemplates the world’s toughest climate law," 6 July 2018 In this view, choice is the ultimate form of accountability, and letting parents pick their children’s schools is valuable in itself, irrespective of outcomes. Bobby Jindal, WSJ, "The Moral Logic of School Choice," 25 June 2018 In fact, as the daily lying continues -- along with the sucking-up to murdering dictators, the juvenile, non-stop Tweeting and the complete lack of personal accountability – my opinion has hardened. Paul Daugherty,, "TML: USGA made its golf course the story, not its U.S. Open winner," 18 June 2018 They -- this is a typical case of accountability without authority. Fox News, "Top cop fired by Rahm Emanuel talks mayoral candidacy," 12 June 2018 When things go awry and lack of accountability is rampant, front offices can turn on the head coach. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons president search: Michael Curry lauds Ed Stefanski," 20 May 2018 How about amazing lack of accountability and amazing cowardice? Anthony Man,, "Trump-endorsed Ron DeSantis says he'd have vetoed gun law, removed Sheriff Israel," 10 Apr. 2018 Contrary to Germany that really went through a truth and reconciliation process on the issue of accountability (for the Holocaust), Austria did not. Jessica Zack,, "Unflinching looks at Austria’s past, Kurt Waldheim at Jewish Film Festival," 10 July 2018 Mercy, by the way, doesn’t mean there should be no accountability for wrongdoing. Tori Telfer, Longreads, "‘I Had Nothing To Do With It But Have Been Punished’: Issac Bailey On His Brother Moochie, the Murderer," 22 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of accountability

1750, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for accountability

accountable + -ity

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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The first known use of accountability was in 1750

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