Definition of liable
2a : being in a position to incur —used with to liable to a fineb : exposed or subject to some usually adverse contingency or action watch out or you're liable to fall
liable vs. apt
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 of liable from the Web
That pool is liable to get increasingly expensive — in fact, very expensive over time.
An appeals court in The Hague ruled this month that the Dutch government was partially liable in the deaths of more than 300 people who were turned away from the compound.
Forrest aided that effort Thursday by issuing a written opinion finding the Alavi Foundation liable for the turnover of its real estate properties to the benefit of its creditors, including terrorism victims.
In that instance, back in the 1990's, even a seemingly favorable appeals-court ruling that the media could only be held liable for trespass caused many outlets to downsize their investigative divisions.
But the appellate court upended that practice, ruling that an individual principal of a corporation could not be held personally liable just because a certification was signed.
Hoosier customers are liable to pay that tax later on their annual tax returns but usually don’t.
Anyone not hewing to the strict environmentalist line is liable to be burned at the rhetorical stake.
Duke inherited the two plants from another company and was liable to clean up the pollutants at the plants that closed in 1928 and 1963.
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.
Synonym Discussion of liable
synonyms see in addition responsible
LIABLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of liable for English Language Learners
: legally responsible for something
: likely to be affected or harmed by something
: likely to do something
LIABLE Defined for Kids
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 taxes — Commissioner 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
Origin and Etymology of liable
ultimately from Old French lier to bind, from Latin ligare
Seen and Heard
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