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 Also high-wattage is the powerplant: a simple tweaking of the electronic engine-management system is responsible for an 18-horsepower increase over the standard 850 Turbos. Arthur St. Antoine, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1995 Volvo 850 T-5R," 18 May 2020 Among the people most responsible for that posture is Mr. Trump’s combative trade adviser, Peter Navarro, whose mission has been to stoke American manufacturing, beginning with the defense industry. Michael Laforgia, New York Times, "President Barack Obama got the U.S. involved in the first place," 16 May 2020 But behind the people directly responsible for decisions, there are armies of unlikely characters self-organizing to make things happen. Debra Hotaling, WSJ, "Covid-19 Builds Teams That Are Ford Tough," 14 May 2020 Earlier this month, SpaceX engineers completed the 27th and final test of the parachute system that will soon be responsible for carrying astronauts back to Earth. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "How NASA Certifies New Spacecraft Safe Enough for Humans," 13 May 2020 The international community held Germany and its people responsible for the Holocaust, and were not interested in fulfilling expellees’ political demands. Anil Menon, The Conversation, "Postwar forced resettlement of Germans echoes through the decades," 7 May 2020 And there’s a grim pragmatism to this decision: If a corporation is responsible for launching civilians for this project, the corporation assumes public responsibility for the risk factors. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Tom Cruise Is Making a Movie in Space, Which Seems Like an, Uh, Impossible Mission," 6 May 2020 With the fashion industry estimated to be responsible for , climate concern is no longer confined to waifish hippies ( and specious weight loss claims notwithstanding). Alden Wicker, Harper's BAZAAR, "Can Sustainable Fashion and Inclusive Sizing Coexist?," 30 Apr. 2020 Some archaeologists believe the Sea Peoples, a loose confederation of maritime powers, were responsible. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 30 Apr. 2020

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

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Responsible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/responsible. Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for responsible

responsible

adjective
How to pronounce responsible (audio)

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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