responsibility

noun
re·​spon·​si·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ri-ˌspän(t)-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce responsibility (audio) \
plural responsibilities

Definition of responsibility

1 : the quality or state of being responsible: such as
a : moral, legal, or mental accountability
2 : something for which one is responsible : burden has neglected his responsibilities

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for responsibility

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of responsibility in a Sentence

… Landau's piece, examining the fan's, and the journalist's responsibility to rock stars … — Lawrence Dietz, Los Angeles Times Book Review, 23 May 1971 A great soprano has a responsibility to her public … — Robert Evett, Atlantic, September 1970 The responsibility for engineering the line of cars which in 1908 evolved the immortal Model T … — John Kenneth Galbraith, New York Times Book Review, 28 Feb. 1954 Anthony Burton had once said that this was your responsibility toward society. — John P. Marquand, Atlantic, Nov. 1947 The boys denied any responsibility for the damage to the fence. A terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the bombing. The janitor has many responsibilities. Mowing the lawn is your responsibility. She has to deal with a lot of family and work responsibilities. It is your responsibility to give the company two weeks notice if you decide to leave. In her new position, she will have much more responsibility. We have a responsibility to protect the environment. The government's responsibility is to serve the public. The principal has responsibility for 450 students and a staff of 35.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the carnage at the Fatimiya mosque in Kandahar province. Samya Kullab And Tameem Akhgar, USA TODAY, 15 Oct. 2021 There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the carnage at the Fatimiya mosque in Kandahar province. Samya Kullab And Tameem Akhgar, chicagotribune.com, 15 Oct. 2021 There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the carnage at the Fatimiya mosque in Kandahar province. Samya Kullab And Tameem Akhgar, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Oct. 2021 There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on the Imam Barga mosque. BostonGlobe.com, 15 Oct. 2021 Their celebrity facilitates an unspoken sense of responsibility. NBC News, 15 Oct. 2021 Fink is correct in pointing out that rich countries have contributed most to the climate crisis and must bear much of the responsibility for decarbonization. Nives Dolsak And Aseem Prakash, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 MacDonald, in response, said that Shell and van Beurden bore a large amount of the personal responsibility for climate change, accusing the company of greenwashing and calling him personally evil. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, 14 Oct. 2021 After logging the result of every play, the offensive line carries most of the responsibility for why the Bengals weren’t able to convert. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, 14 Oct. 2021

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

1771, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for responsibility

see responsible

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About responsibility

Time Traveler for responsibility

Time Traveler

The first known use of responsibility was in 1771

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near responsibility

responser

responsibility

responsible

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for responsibility

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Responsibility.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/responsibility. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for responsibility

responsibility

noun

English Language Learners Definition of responsibility

: the state of being the person who caused something to happen
: a duty or task that you are required or expected to do
: something that you should do because it is morally right, legally required, etc.

responsibility

noun
re·​spon·​si·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ri-ˌspän-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce responsibility (audio) \
plural responsibilities

Kids Definition of responsibility

1 : the quality or state of being in charge of someone or something
2 : the quality of being dependable Show responsibility by always doing your homework.
3 : something or someone for which someone has charge The children are my responsibility.

More from Merriam-Webster on responsibility

Nglish: Translation of responsibility for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of responsibility for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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