Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective answerable contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of answerable are accountable, amenable, liable, and responsible. While all these words mean "subject to being held to account," 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

Where would accountable be a reasonable alternative to answerable?

The synonyms accountable and answerable are sometimes interchangeable, but accountable suggests imminence of retribution for unfulfilled trust or violated obligation.

elected officials are accountable to the voters

How do amenable and liable relate to one another, in the sense of answerable?

Both 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

When can responsible be used instead of answerable?

The meanings of responsible and answerable largely overlap; however, responsible implies holding a specific office, duty, or trust.

the bureau responsible for revenue collection

Thesaurus Entries Near answerable

Cite this Entry

“Answerable.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

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