responsible

adjective
re·​spon·​si·​ble | \ ri-ˈspän(t)-sə-bəl How to pronounce responsible (audio) \

Definition of responsible

1a : liable to be called on to answer
b(1) : liable to be called to account as the primary cause, motive, or agent a committee responsible for the job
(2) : being the cause or explanation mechanical defects were responsible for the accident
c : liable to legal review or in case of fault to penalties
2a : able to answer for one's conduct and obligations : trustworthy
b : able to choose for oneself between right and wrong
3 : marked by or involving responsibility or accountability responsible financial policies
4 : politically answerable especially : required to submit to the electorate if defeated by the legislature used especially of the British cabinet

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Other Words from responsible

responsibleness noun
responsibly \ ri-​ˈspän(t)-​sə-​blē How to pronounce responsible (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for responsible

responsible, answerable, accountable, amenable, liable mean subject to being held to account. responsible implies holding a specific office, duty, or trust. the bureau responsible for revenue collection answerable suggests a relation between one having a moral or legal obligation and a court or other authority charged with oversight of its observance. an intelligence agency answerable to Congress accountable suggests imminence of retribution for unfulfilled trust or violated obligation. elected officials are accountable to the voters amenable and liable stress the fact of subjection to review, censure, or control by a designated authority under certain conditions. laws are amenable to judicial review not liable for the debts of the former spouse

Examples of responsible in a Sentence

"If you all die of typhoid I won't be responsible!" he snapped. "If you die of dullness, neither will I," Helen echoed in her heart. — Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out, 1915 I have long since ceased to cherish any spirit of bitterness against the Southern white people on account of the enslavement of my race. No one section of our country was wholly responsible for its introduction, and, besides, it was recognized and protected for years by the General Government. — Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery, 1900, 1901 He resumed our walk with me, passing his hand into my arm. "Then when AM I going back?" I wore, in turning it over, my most responsible air. — Henry James, The Turn of the Screw, 1898 She is a very responsible worker. Is he responsible enough to have a car?
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Recent Examples on the Web Sanders proposes the elimination of private insurance and moving to a single-payer system where the government is responsible for paying health care claims. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 July 2021 Local officials who were responsible for triggering disaster alarms in the Ahr valley on the first night of flooding have kept a low profile in the days since the deluge. BostonGlobe.com, 24 July 2021 The city is responsible for at least $10 million in bonds already sold as part of a $58 million tax increment financing deal to pay for infrastructure work for the massive $800 million project. Washington Post, 24 July 2021 Border Patrol's El Centro Sector is responsible for about 70 miles of international border in the area, according to the Customs and Border Patrol website. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, 24 July 2021 Tennessee has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, and new cases have been on the rise in July as the highly spreadable delta variant is now responsible for the majority of cases in the country. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, 24 July 2021 The printing and shipping services offered by the business are managed by Martez, the second-youngest brother, who also is responsible for offering property, casualty, life and health insurance services at Hallstarz. Scott Talley, Freep.com, 24 July 2021 In a final shot, Paul said Fauci could be responsible for more than 4 million deaths worldwide. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2021 And even Cingolani, who was responsible for leading the discussions, acknowledged its shortcomings, pointing fingers specifically at China and India for failing to sign onto some of the more ambitious provisions. Time, 24 July 2021

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

1643, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for responsible

Anglo-French responsable, from respuns — see response

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Time Traveler for responsible

Time Traveler

The first known use of responsible was in 1643

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Dictionary Entries Near responsible

responsibility

responsible

responsion

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Last Updated

26 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Responsible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/responsible. Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for responsible

responsible

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of responsible

used to describe the person or thing that causes something to happen usually + for
: having the job or duty of dealing with or taking care of something or someone
: able to be trusted to do what is right or to do the things that are expected or required

responsible

adjective
re·​spon·​si·​ble | \ ri-ˈspän-sə-bəl How to pronounce responsible (audio) \

Kids Definition of responsible

1 : getting the credit or blame for acts or decisions You are responsible for the damage.
2 : reliable responsible teenagers
3 : needing a dependable person a responsible job

Other Words from responsible

responsibly \ -​blē \ adverb

responsible

adjective
re·​spon·​si·​ble

Legal Definition of responsible

1a : liable to be called on to answer
b : liable to be called to account as the primary cause, motive, or agent
c : liable to legal review or in case of fault to penalties
2 : characterized by trustworthiness, integrity, and requisite abilities and resources awarded the contract to the lowest responsible bidder
3 : able to choose for oneself between right and wrong
4 : marked by or involving accountability a responsible office

Other Words from responsible

responsibility noun
responsibleness noun
responsibly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on responsible

Nglish: Translation of responsible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of responsible for Arabic Speakers

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