adjective an·swer·able \ ˈan(t)-s(ə-)rə-bəl \
|Updated on: 9 Jul 2018

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


play \ˌan(t)-s(ə-)rə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

Examples of answerable in a Sentence

  1. a powerful businesswoman who seems to think that she's answerable to no one

  2. you are answerable for your own conduct at all times

Recent Examples of answerable from the Web

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.

First Known Use of answerable

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
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Synonym Discussion of 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

ANSWERABLE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of answerable for English Language Learners

  • : required to explain actions or decisions to someone

  • : responsible for something

  • : capable of being answered

ANSWERABLE Defined for Kids


adjective an·swer·able \ ˈan-sə-rə-bəl \

Definition of answerable for Students

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

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