Definition of responsible
1a : liable to be called on to answerb (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 accidentc : liable to legal review or in case of fault to penalties
2a : able to answer for one's conduct and obligations : trustworthyb : able to choose for oneself between right and wrong
3 : marked by or involving responsibility or accountability responsible financial policies
responsiblyplay \-blē\ adverb
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?
Recent Examples of responsible from the Web
The region’s thriving marine industry is responsible for more than 136,000 jobs and $11.5 billion in annual economic output, according to the Marine Industries Association of South Florida.
The dancer said Marlow was responsible for buying the cocaine and MDMA and sharing it with her, the documents say.
The United Nations considers the lands Israel captured in 1967 — the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem — as a single unit and holds Israel, as the occupier, responsible for the welfare of more than 4 million Palestinians living there.
ISIS is responsible for committing or inspiring deadly terrorist attacks around the world.
Corbyn's speech reflects the view that Britain's actions overseas are at least in part responsible for the increase in extremist attacks.
The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, which is responsible for developing and testing the system, has scheduled the intercept test for Tuesday.
However the private business is responsible for paying off the proceeds.
The Arctic Research Submarine was designed by the famous Rubin Design Bureau, which was also responsible for the Typhoon-class missile submarines, the largest subs ever built.
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.
Origin and Etymology of responsible
Anglo-French responsable, from respuns —see response
First Known Use: 1643
Synonym Discussion of responsible
RESPONSIBLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of responsible for English Language Learners
: 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
: involving important duties, decisions, etc., that you are trusted to do
RESPONSIBLE Defined for Kids
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
Seen and Heard
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