liable

adjective
li·​a·​ble | \ ˈlī-ə-bəl How to pronounce liable (audio) , especially in sense 2 often ˈlī-bəl \

Definition of liable

1a : obligated according to law or equity (see equity sense 3) : responsible liable for the debts incurred by his wife
b : subject to appropriation or attachment All his property is liable to pay his debts.
2a : being in a position to incur used with toliable to a fine
b : exposed or subject to some usually adverse contingency or action watch out or you're liable to fall

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Choose the Right Synonym for liable

liable, open, exposed, subject, prone, susceptible, sensitive mean being by nature or through circumstances likely to experience something adverse. liable implies a possibility or probability of incurring something because of position, nature, or particular situation. liable to get lost open stresses a lack of barriers preventing incurrence. a claim open to question exposed suggests lack of protection or powers of resistance against something actually present or threatening. exposed to infection subject implies an openness for any reason to something that must be suffered or undergone. all reports are subject to review prone stresses natural tendency or propensity to incur something. prone to delay susceptible implies conditions existing in one's nature or individual constitution that make incurrence probable. very susceptible to flattery sensitive implies a readiness to respond to or be influenced by forces or stimuli. unduly sensitive to criticism

synonyms see in addition responsible

Liable vs. Apt: Usage Guide

Both liable and apt when followed by an infinitive are used nearly interchangeably with likely. Although conflicting advice has been given over the years, most current commentators accept apt when so used. They generally recommend limiting liable to situations having an undesirable outcome, and our evidence shows that in edited writing it is more often so used than not.

Examples of liable in a Sentence

If someone gets hurt on your property, you could be liable. because of his frail constitution, he's liable to diseases
Recent Examples on the Web The Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department could each be held liable for up to $20 million in civil damages connected to the Aug. 25 shootings by Kyle Rittenhouse. Tom Daykin, USA TODAY, "Kenosha police, sheriff facing $20 million in damage claims related to Kyle Rittenhouse shootings," 5 Jan. 2021 The campaign specifically targets Section 230, a decades-old portion of federal law that spares a wide array of sites and services from being held liable for their users’ online speech. Washington Post, "Trump, Republicans seize on new stimulus debate to take aim at an old foe: Big tech," 29 Dec. 2020 Banks had asked the SBA to waive that liability during the first two rounds of the PPP, but the new rules that Washington wrote for round three specifically say that banks can't be held liable for borrowing fraud. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Paycheck Protection Program returns with $285 billion, and there's still room for fraud," 24 Dec. 2020 The $335 million will not be released from the escrow account until lawmakers resolve whether Sudan should be held liable for its role in harboring Al Qaeda before the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Lara Jakes, New York Times, "State Dept. to Remove Sudan From List of Terrorist States," 19 Oct. 2020 The new lawsuit claims, though, that while Rapp can no longer be criminally charged here, the church can and still should be held liable for the assaults. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, "New allegations surface about former Utah priest abusing 8-year-old boy," 9 Oct. 2020 Banks had asked the SBA to waive that liability during the first two rounds of the PPP, but the new rules that Washington wrote for round three specifically say that banks can't be held liable for borrowing fraud. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Paycheck Protection Program returns with $285 billion, and there's still room for fraud," 23 Dec. 2020 With an affirmative defense, defendants in cases involving people exposed to coronavirus may not be held liable if the defendant can prove certain conditions. Kristina Peterson And Andrew Duehren, WSJ, "GOP Leaders See Bipartisan Group’s Covid-Aid Effort Falling Short," 11 Dec. 2020 The cities and counties have argued that the oil companies have created a public nuisance, and that regardless of federal Clean Air Act regulations, the producers should be held liable for the toll of their products. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "Biden could help San Francisco win billions from Big Oil over climate change," 2 Dec. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for liable

Middle English lyable, from Anglo-French *liable, from lier to bind, from Latin ligare — more at ligature

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Time Traveler for liable

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for liable

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Liable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liable. Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for liable

liable

adjective
How to pronounce liable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of liable

: legally responsible for something
: likely to be affected or harmed by something
: likely to do something

liable

adjective
li·​a·​ble | \ ˈlī-ə-bəl How to pronounce liable (audio) \

Kids Definition of liable

1 : likely sense 1 It's liable to rain.
2 : judged by law to be responsible for something We are liable for damage that we do.
3 : not sheltered or protected (as from danger or accident) liable to injury

liable

adjective
li·​a·​ble | \ ˈlī-ə-bəl How to pronounce liable (audio) \

Legal Definition of liable

1 : answerable according to law : bound or obligated according to law or equity one is liable as an accomplice to the crime of another— W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr. the estate is liable for succession taxesCommissioner of Revenue Services v. Estate of Culpepper, 493 A.2d 297 (1985)
2a : being in a position to incur used with to liable to a fine property liable to duties
b : subject or amenable according to law

History and Etymology for liable

ultimately from Old French lier to bind, from Latin ligare

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Comments on liable

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