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 responsibly (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

Midler hit back after Trump insulted her, saying that Trump is responsible for spreading lies. Amy Gunia, Time, "President Trump Calls Bette Midler a 'Washed Up Psycho' After She Shared a Fake Quote," 6 June 2019 The insects have been responsible for countless deaths by spreading illnesses such as malaria and yellow fever. Jim Kiest, ExpressNews.com, "12 new books for your summer reading list," 5 June 2019 Vincent and Chuck Dunlap, the conference’s director of communication, are responsible for monitoring social media on Saturdays in the fall, identifying viral moments surrounding SEC football games. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "The SEC Grapples With Officiating in the Age of Outrage," 5 June 2019 The total cost will be $93 million, and local taxpayers will be responsible for $47 million after state reimbursement. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "Manchester voters approve $47 million school modernization project," 5 June 2019 The industry along the Houston Ship Channel is responsible for 60 percent of the nation’s supply of jet fuel, and approximately 30 percent of the nation’s supply of gasoline. Dr. Brian Babin, Houston Chronicle, "Op-Ed: Save the USS Texas," 5 June 2019 The diocese had a finance board made up of officials and lay people who were responsible for overseeing spending, including Bransfield's compensation. Anchorage Daily News, "W. Virgnia bishop spent millions on himself and sent cash to priests he was accused of mistreating, Vatican report says," 5 June 2019 Infantino has been responsible for expanding the 2026 World Cup from 32 to 48 teams, although plans to implement the expansion ahead of the 2022 tournament in Qatar were recently scrapped. George Ramsay, CNN, "Gianni Infantino reelected unopposed as FIFA president," 5 June 2019 IVL Group also would be responsible for putting the property up for sale, if requested by the trustee. Lorraine Mirabella, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore leaders meet Harborplace receivership with disappointment but hope for better future," 5 June 2019

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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Statistics for responsible

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for responsible

The first known use of responsible was in 1643

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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

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Comments on responsible

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