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 Kliavkoff is also a current Board Member of BetMGM, and Las Vegas Arena Management, which is responsible for the operations and booking for three prominent arenas: T-Mobile Arena, MGM Grand Garden Arena and Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay). Karen Weaver, Forbes, "Pac-12 Hires New Commissioner Immersed In Entertainment And Sports Betting Industry," 13 May 2021 Paule also took aim at Mitchell's criticism of Dr. David Fowler, a key defense witness for Chauvin who testified that the former officer was not responsible for Floyd's death. Fox News, "George Floyd death: Minnesota judge postpones trial for 3 ex-police officers until March 2022," 13 May 2021 Paule also took aim at Mitchell's criticism of Dr. David Fowler, a key defense witness for Chauvin who testified that the former officer was not responsible for Floyd's death. NBC News, "Judge postpones trial for 3 ex-cops charged in George Floyd's death," 13 May 2021 Ideally, the party who has possession of the property (i.e., a car) will be responsible for the monthly payment. Dallas News, "What happens to debt during a divorce?," 13 May 2021 The Angels are responsible for the remainder of Pujols’ $30-million salary this year. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Albert Pujols clears waivers, becomes a free agent," 13 May 2021 Paule also took aim at Mitchell's criticism of Dr. David Fowler, a key defense witness for Chauvin who testified that the former officer was not responsible for Floyd's death. BostonGlobe.com, "Judge postpones trial for 3 former police officers charged in George Floyd’s death," 13 May 2021 The work, which previously belonged to former Valentino chairman Giancarlo Giammetti, was responsible for nearly half the $210 million generated at Christie's 21st century evening sale. Megan C. Hills, CNN, "'Tonight we took the pulse of the market -- and it is clearly racing'," 13 May 2021 This company and pipeline are responsible for some of the largest domestic gas and oil spills in American history. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Incredibly Stupid, Entirely Avoidable Gas Panic of 2021," 13 May 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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Statistics for responsible

Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Responsible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/responsible. Accessed 16 May. 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

Comments on responsible

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