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

Keep scrolling for more

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 That won’t be easy in an industry answerable to an array of interests as varied as shareholders, ratepayers, power generators and environmentalists while regulated by state and federal agencies. Stephen Singer,, "Connecticut regulators mull Eversource rate increases tied to higher costs, heat waves, Millstone and the pandemic," 16 Aug. 2020 Even without those efforts, Republican politicians are answerable primarily to conservative voters in the least populous portions of the country and the conservative outlets and institutions that shape their thinking. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The 2020 Election Doesn’t Really Matter to Republicans," 30 July 2020 Should religious employers, led by two Catholic schools in California, be allowed to fire workers without without being answerable to employment discrimination laws? Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Pandemic postponements keep Supreme Court toiling into July," 30 June 2020 Mattis wrote in an essay for The Atlantic that keeping public order in times of civil unrest is the duty of civilian state and local authorities who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.. Robert Burns, Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: White House, Pentagon tensions near breaking point," 7 June 2020 Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Former Defense Secretary James Mattis denounces Trump for dividing country," 4 June 2020 For each pair of entries that are connected, one is clued straightforwardly, and answerable on its own. Caitlin Lovinger, New York Times, "Turn, Turn, Turn," 25 Apr. 2020 The executive branch is more answerable to the public—and thus more equipped to handle delicate privacy and civil liberties concerns—than the independent-minded central bank, Grey argues. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Coronavirus adds fuel to the Digital Dollar debate," 1 Apr. 2020 Unlike the Cabinet secretaries who serve at the president’s pleasure, the central bank is an operationally independent agency, answerable to Congress on its goals but traditionally afforded leeway in pursuing them. Matthew Boesler | Bloomberg July 8, Washington Post, "What Trump Can (and Can’t) Do to Steer Fed Policy," 8 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of answerable

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about answerable

Time Traveler for answerable

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for answerable

Last Updated

29 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Answerable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on answerable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for answerable

Nglish: Translation of answerable for Spanish Speakers

Comments on answerable

What made you want to look up answerable? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!