an·​swer·​able | \ ˈan(t)-s(ə-)rə-bəl How to pronounce answerable (audio) \

Definition of answerable

1 : liable to be called to account : responsible The specialists who design the programs work for and are answerable to distant development agencies.— Samia Altaf The Fed's prestige is back up, and meanwhile we have a Congress that is elected and is answerable to the people …— Adam Smith
2 : capable of being answered or refuted There has been a controversy on the question of whether the species was genetically closer to the horse or to the zebra. This question may possibly be answerable now that DNA from the three species is available for comparison.— Harold M. Schmeck Jr. an answerable assertion
3 archaic : suitable, adequate
4 archaic : corresponding, similar

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Other Words from answerable

answerability \ ˌan(t)-​s(ə-​)rə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce answerability (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for answerable

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 answerable in a Sentence

a powerful businesswoman who seems to think that she's answerable to no one you are answerable for your own conduct at all times
Recent Examples on the Web Ghaani now serves as the head of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, an expeditionary arm of the paramilitary organization answerable only to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Jon Gamrell,, "Iran general replacing Soleimani vows revenge for US killing," 5 Jan. 2020 Ghaani, a longtime Soleimani deputy, has now taken over as the head of the Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force, an expeditionary arm of the paramilitary organization answerable only to Khamenei. Author: Nasser Karimi, Jon Gambrell, Anchorage Daily News, "Iran holds massive funeral for US-slain commander amid calls for vengeance," 6 Jan. 2020 Ghaani, a longtime Soleimani deputy, has now taken over as the head of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, an expeditionary arm of the paramilitary organization answerable only to Khamenei. Nasser Karimi And Jon Gambrell, USA TODAY, "Iran's Supreme Leader weeps at Gen. Qasem Soleimani’s funeral as masses mourn," 6 Jan. 2020 Hong Kong’s military garrison has been reinforced with thousands of soldiers and paramilitary police from the mainland, answerable to the hard men in Beijing. The Economist, "Tiananmen veterans view Hong Kong’s crisis with fatalism," 10 Oct. 2019 As command module pilot, Collins was answerable to commander Neil Armstrong, but outranked lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Apollo 11 Had 3 Men Aboard, But Only 2 Walked on the Moon. Here’s What it Was Like to Be the Third," 11 July 2019 The Guard, a paramilitary force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, pilot speedboats through the Strait of Hormuz and run drills practicing swarming larger warships. Washington Post, "New US-led patrols in Persian Gulf raise stakes with Iran," 3 Sep. 2019 John was soon made chief eye, answerable only to the chairman and the priest. Sean Williams, Harper's magazine, "The Black Axe," 19 Aug. 2019 The city charter was amended during Robertson’s tenure, making the city manager the effective head of city government, rather than the mayor, and answerable to mayor and City Council. David Anderson,, "Aberdeen city manager gets two-year contract extension, $13,000 raise," 15 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'answerable.' 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 answerable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for answerable

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

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Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Answerable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for answerable


How to pronounce answerable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of answerable

: required to explain actions or decisions to someone
: responsible for something
: capable of being answered


an·​swer·​able | \ ˈan-sə-rə-bəl How to pronounce answerable (audio) \

Kids Definition of answerable

1 : responsible sense 1 You are answerable for your actions.
2 : possible to answer an answerable question

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Spanish Central: Translation of answerable

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