Synonyms & Antonyms of responsible

1 being the one who must meet an obligation or suffer the consequences for failing to do so
  • the state laws hold pet owners responsible for any damage or injury done by improperly restrained animals

Synonyms for responsible

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Antonyms for responsible

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Frequently Asked Questions About responsible

How does the adjective responsible contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of responsible are accountable, amenable, answerable, and liable. While all these words mean "subject to being held to account," responsible implies holding a specific office, duty, or trust.

the bureau responsible for revenue collection

When could accountable be used to replace responsible?

The words accountable and responsible are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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 responsible?

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 is it sensible to use answerable instead of responsible?

The synonyms answerable and responsible are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

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Time Traveler for responsible

Time Traveler

The first known use of responsible was in 1643

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Cite this Entry

“Responsible.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on responsible

Dictionary: Definition of responsible

Nglish: Translation of responsible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of responsible for Arabic Speakers

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