ac·​count·​abil·​i·​ty ə-ˌkau̇n-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce accountability (audio)
: the quality or state of being accountable
especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions
public officials lacking accountability

Examples of accountability in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Freeman’s family has been calling for justice and accountability for months after surveillance footage revealed a violent encounter between Freeman, 33, and several deputies on October 5, 2022, which ultimately resulted in his death. Devon M. Sayers, CNN, 21 Sep. 2023 Oversight, transparency, and accountability for all the aid is absolutely important and imperative. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, 21 Sep. 2023 Lebanon’s economic meltdown, brought on when the government defaulted on its foreign debt and the currency collapsed, triggered months of protests demanding deep political reforms and accountability from corrupt sectarian elites. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Sep. 2023 But years ago, the plants started delegating this work to outside sanitation companies, which pay less and allow brands to avoid accountability for problems. Hannah Dreier Meridith Kohut, New York Times, 18 Sep. 2023 Under the current accountability system, schools are measured on a number of school quality indicators and then awarded either full accreditation or accreditation with conditions. Karina Elwood, Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2023 With social media, there’s more public-facing accountability when adverse weather hits and organizers are unprepared (see: Fyre Festival). Philip Sherburne, Pitchfork, 13 Sep. 2023 As a father of a blended family with seven kids, the lack of focus on academics, as well as the lack of transparency and accountability in our district, is deeply concerning. Beth Mlady, cleveland, 8 Sep. 2023 This man will not take accountability or show any remorse. Meredith Goldstein,, 8 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'accountability.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


accountable + -ity

First Known Use

1750, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of accountability was in 1750

Dictionary Entries Near accountability

Cite this Entry

“Accountability.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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