accountable

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

Camp Cope continues to use their platform to hold the music industry accountable. Caitlin Wolper, Teen Vogue, "Camp Cope on Supporting Other Women in Music and Calling Out Festival Lineups," 2 May 2019 State and federal laws in recent decades have held companies more accountable than in the past, but critics say huge loopholes all but ensure that some of today’s mines will foul waterways or require perpetual cleanups. Matthew Brown, The Seattle Times, "50M gallons of polluted water pours daily from US mine sites," 20 Feb. 2019 These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton Were Sent "Potential Explosive Devices" in the Mail," 24 Oct. 2018 Duda and government officials insist that their changes, which give the ruling party vast new powers over the courts, are democratic, making judges more accountable. Fox News, "Polish leader slammed for saying EU has little relevance," 12 Sep. 2018 But many say this headline-grabbing, top-down strategy has worsened every aspect of the security problem, diverting resources from local police, fragmenting gangs and making local governments less accountable. Ciara Nugent, Time, "Mexico Is Suffering Its Bloodiest Year in Modern History. Here's Why," 28 June 2018 But those options aren’t available to most democratic leaders, who are accountable to publics that almost universally despise the American president. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump America Isn’t Going to the G7 to Make Friends (or Keep Them)," 7 June 2018 The best-case scenario, say advocates of green space, may be to hold the new owner of this swath of land accountable to their current proposal, which calls for 40 percent green and open space, and make sure the public will have proper access to it. Ryan Smith, Chicago Reader, "Neighborhoods / News / Politics Chicago's next great park? Hardly," 21 May 2018 Those leading lawsuits in defense of the climate Youth around the world are using litigation to hold governments accountable to stop climate change and address environmental injustice. Maia Wikler, Teen Vogue, "5 Youth-Led Climate Justice Groups Helping to Save the Environment," 28 Mar. 2019

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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Statistics for accountable

Last Updated

15 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for accountable

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

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More Definitions for accountable

accountable

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of accountable

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

accountable

adjective
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.

accountable

adjective
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 accountability (audio) \ noun

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Comments on accountable

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