ac·​count·​able | \ ə-ˈkau̇n-tə-bəl How to pronounce accountable (audio) \

Definition of accountable

1 : subject to giving an account : answerable held her accountable for the damage
2 : capable of being explained : explainable … leaving aside variations accountable as printer's errors …— Peter Shaw

Other Words from accountable

accountableness \ ə-​ˈkau̇n-​tə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce accountable (audio) \ noun
accountably \ ə-​ˈkau̇n-​tə-​blē How to pronounce accountable (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for accountable

responsible, answerable, accountable, amenable, liable mean subject to being held to account. responsible implies holding a specific office, duty, or trust. the bureau responsible for revenue collection answerable suggests a relation between one having a moral or legal obligation and a court or other authority charged with oversight of its observance. an intelligence agency answerable to Congress accountable suggests imminence of retribution for unfulfilled trust or violated obligation. elected officials are accountable to the voters amenable and liable stress the fact of subjection to review, censure, or control by a designated authority under certain conditions. laws are amenable to judicial review not liable for the debts of the former spouse

Examples of accountable in a Sentence

If anything goes wrong I will hold you personally accountable! the owner was held accountable for his dog's biting of the child
Recent Examples on the Web They must be held accountable for their past failures and prevented from inflicting any more harm. Ira Shapiro, The New Republic, 6 May 2022 The Marcos regime may have ended in the 1980s, but campaigners say the Marcoses were never held accountable for the scale of their misdeeds and fear Marcos Jr could erode efforts to settle past injustices. Veejay Villafranca For Cnn, CNN, 6 May 2022 Companies and nonprofits should be held accountable for their actions (or inactions), and they should be made to suffer the consequences of these actions (or inactions) in the competitive marketplace. Timothy J. Mcclimon, Forbes, 6 May 2022 Ben Rottenborn, Heard’s attorney, argued Tuesday that Heard cannot be held accountable for the headline because it was written by the Washington Post. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 3 May 2022 Mohammed vowed to attend every court hearing to ensure North is held accountable for her son's death. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, 3 May 2022 Police need to be held accountable for Sunday's incident, Weah said. NBC News, 21 Apr. 2022 By the way, Prudential is one of the companies that made the decision in 2020 to publicly disclose more of its diversity data, so it could be held accountable for progress on that front. David Meyer, Fortune, 21 Apr. 2022 Magierowski emphasized that all Russians should be held accountable for the devastation and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, not just Putin, because of the propaganda efforts within Russia to diminish the effects of war in their neighboring country. Jacob Rosen, CBS News, 15 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of accountable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for accountable

Middle English accountable, accomptable, borrowed from Anglo-French acomptable, from acunter "to account entry 2" + -able -able

Learn More About accountable

Time Traveler for accountable

Time Traveler

The first known use of accountable was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near accountable




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for accountable

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Accountable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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

More Definitions for accountable


ac·​count·​able | \ ə-ˈkȧun-tə-bəl \

Kids Definition of accountable

1 : required to explain actions or decisions The mayor is accountable to the city's residents.
2 : responsible sense 1 You're accountable for your mistakes.


ac·​count·​able | \ ə-ˈkau̇n-tə-bəl How to pronounce accountable (audio) \

Legal Definition of accountable

1 : liable accountable for the burglary
2 : obliged to accept responsibility the bank accountable for payment of the check

Other Words from accountable

accountability \ ə-​ˌkau̇n-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce accountable (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on accountable

Nglish: Translation of accountable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of accountable for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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