adjective ac·count·able \ ə-ˈkau̇n-tə-bəl \
|Updated on: 10 Jul 2018

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


play \-ˈkau̇n-tə-bəl-nəs\ noun


play \-blē\ adverb

Examples of accountable in a Sentence

  1. If anything goes wrong I will hold you personally accountable!

  2. the owner was held accountable for his dog's biting of the child

Recent Examples of accountable from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of accountable

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

accountable Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of 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

ACCOUNTABLE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of accountable for English Language Learners

  • : required to explain actions or decisions to someone

  • : required to be responsible for something

ACCOUNTABLE Defined for Kids


adjective ac·count·able \ ə-ˈkȧun-tə-bəl \

Definition of accountable for Students

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

Law Dictionary


adjective ac·count·able \ ə-ˈkau̇n-tə-bəl \

legal Definition of accountable

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


play \ə-ˌkau̇n-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

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