responsibility

noun
re·​spon·​si·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ri-ˌspän(t)-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē \
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

Today the onus of responsibility for leading and inspiring our soldiers, which is the very essence of being a Commissioned Officer, passes over to you. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Read the Speech Prince William Delivered at the Sovereign's Parade," 14 Dec. 2018 But individuals also bear some responsibility for their own data security. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Condé Nast Traveler, "6 Ways You Put Your Data at Risk When You Travel," 6 Dec. 2018 There are more than 400 hours of video uploaded every minute to the platform, and putting the onus of responsibility on platforms like YouTube to catch every video isn’t fair, according to Wojcicki. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "YouTube CEO calls EU’s proposed copyright regulation financially impossible," 12 Nov. 2018 In quotes, of course, because the men who committed the misconduct in the first place bear sole responsibility for any destruction of lives as a result of that misconduct. Stephanie Dolgoff, Good Housekeeping, "Why We Have to Talk About What Happened in High School," 27 Sep. 2018 His responsibilities even included reporting on how the fresh food improved the health of his team members. Elizabeth Howell, Space.com, "Antarctica Greenhouse Produces Cucumbers, Tomatoes and More in Mars-Like Test," 24 Sep. 2018 There were false accusations, removal of my responsibilities. Jessica Press, Redbook, "Women Need to Know They Don't Have to Take Bullying in the Workplace," 19 Sep. 2018 Africa’s governments need to step up to their responsibilities. The Economist, "Jihadists are trying to take over the Sahel," 12 July 2018 All Khosrowshahi had to do was look apologetic when asked about Uber’s past scandals, and then quickly pivot to the company’s new ethos, which was safety and corporate responsibility. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Uber," 29 Dec. 2018

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

18 Jan 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 \
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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