ac·count·able | \ə-ˈkau̇n-tə-bəl \

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 \ noun
accountably \-blē \ 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

Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes will hold accountable any party or candidate who doesn’t believe in every person’s right to make their own personal medical decisions without government interference. Jason Hancock, kansascity, "Should abortion stance be a purity test for Missouri Democrats? Question roils party," 5 July 2018 Lahm, who made 113 appearances for Die Mannschaft, noted that players must be held accountable for the nation's poor performances this summer., "Philipp Lahm Says German Boss Joachim Löw Must Change Leadership Style in Order to Succeed Again," 13 July 2018 This is part of a series of efforts Facebook is making to become more transparent and accountable after misinformation plagued social media platforms throughout the 2016 presidential election. Bree Tracey, Fox News, "How under-fire Facebook is bolstering its battle against fake news," 12 July 2018 Now Gregory questions: Can anyone be held accountable for Thomas Lemmon’s death? Tim Prudente,, "With ownership in question, lawsuit stalls over deadly West Baltimore collapse," 12 July 2018 Thanks to local law enforcement, the Children’ Advocacy Center and the families of these victims, Ashley Pruitt is being held accountable for her actions. Greg Hanlon,, "Alabama Teacher Told Student She Wanted to Take His Virginity, Reports to Jail," 2 July 2018 Ruthless in their pursuit of collapsing whole industries, Gen Y has been held accountable for wiping out everything from napkins and Buffalo Wild Wings to cereal and bar hopping., "Not An Entitled Millennial: How 4 Young Women Support Their Whole Families," 27 June 2018 Thirty-one percent of black people feel that police in their communities are held accountable for their misconduct, compared with 70 percent of whites. Michael Harriot, The Root, "All Black People Are Victims of Police Brutality," 26 June 2018 School reform is 10 years old, yet the achievement gap remains unacceptably large, and schools are less transparent and accountable to parents. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "Where the candidates for D.C. Council chair stand on the issues," 11 June 2018

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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Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for accountable

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

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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 \

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 \ noun

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