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

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Synonyms for responsibility

Synonyms

blame, fault, liability

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Assigning Pettis sole responsibility for the game's result is disingenuous. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros begin road trip with loss to Reds," 18 June 2019 After two seasons next to Weddle, Jefferson had grasped when the safety tandem could flip presnap responsibilities on the fly. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "'He's Earl. That's how he is': Ravens and safety Earl Thomas learning how to grow together," 18 June 2019 Determination on the sewer district’s responsibility in the flooding could take a week, Christy said. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "Northside residents ask for help in flooding. Is the sewer district responsible?," 18 June 2019 Equally egregious will be the death of personal responsibility and our understanding of human agency. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: Rep. Crow’s gun liability law makes a mockery of personal responsibility," 17 June 2019 The reaction to his arrest has been unsparing, hitting a collective nerve about moral responsibility and failure to act in the midst of a horrific attack. oregonlive.com, "He’ll go down in history as a coward, but is he a criminal?," 16 June 2019 The Office of Consumer Counsel is an independent state agency with statutory responsibility to represent customers of Connecticut’s regulated utilities. Mark Pazniokas, courant.com, "Elin Swanon Katz resigning as consumer counsel," 14 June 2019 In Tehran, the Islamic Republic denied responsibility. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "A Tanker War in the Middle East—Again?," 14 June 2019 For Facebook, establishing an independent body is thought to provide cover with users and regulators, who have grown increasingly wary of both the amount of power Facebook wields, and its cavalier attitude towards the responsibilities this brings. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Facebook’s cryptocurrency to debut next week backed by Visa, Mastercard, Uber, and others: WSJ," 14 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of responsibility

1771, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for responsibility

see responsible

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Statistics for responsibility

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for responsibility

The first known use of responsibility was in 1771

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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.

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Comments on responsibility

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