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

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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 Gender and age also play a role, with 67 percent of women saying the country should do more to hold police accountable for mistreatment of Black Americans, compared with 53 percent of men., "Most Americans support greater scrutiny of police as discrimination concerns persist, Post-ABC poll finds," 23 Apr. 2021 For example, 53% of whites favor doing more to hold police accountable, rising to 67% of Hispanics and 83% of Black people. Gary Langer, ABC News, "6 in 10 favor doing more to hold police accountable: POLL," 23 Apr. 2021 Members of the public, speaking after the review presentation called on city leaders to take action to hold police accountable and implement reforms to the department. Ashley Remkus |, al, "Protest review finds ‘unprofessional’ behavior, policy violations by Huntsville police," 23 Apr. 2021 Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, whose office is looking at reopening old police-shooting cases, said the verdict sent a message that juries are willing to hold police accountable. Dan Frosch, WSJ, "Derek Chauvin Verdict Might Bring More Prosecutions of Police," 22 Apr. 2021 Any other outcome, Bailey said, would have raised doubts about ever holding police accountable. Alan Judd, ajc, "Months after unrest over George Floyd’s death, Atlanta relieved at guilty verdict," 21 Apr. 2021 Cities should have a document in place that holds the police accountable and gives citizens authority to do as much. Jackie Borchardt, The Enquirer, "'Our system of justice worked': Ohio politicians praise 'bittersweet' verdict in Derek Chauvin trial," 20 Apr. 2021 Familiarize yourself with ways to hold the police accountable. Daniel Bentley, Fortune, "Corporate lawyers go to bat for Kristen Clarke," 13 Apr. 2021 The Independent Police Review Authority, the city’s former disciplinary agency that was shut down after years of failing to hold police accountable, had found the shooting fell within departmental policy in 2015. Dan Hinkel,, "Chicago police officer facing dismissal for allegedly lying about fatal shooting decides to step away from job," 25 Mar. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for accountable

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for accountable

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Accountable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for accountable



English Language Learners Definition of accountable

: required to explain actions or decisions to someone
: required to be responsible for something


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

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Comments on accountable

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