re·​spon·​si·​bil·​i·​ty ri-ˌspän(t)-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce responsibility (audio)
plural responsibilities
: the quality or state of being responsible: such as
: moral, legal, or mental accountability
: something for which one is responsible : burden
has neglected his responsibilities

Example Sentences

… Landau's piece, examining the fan's, and the journalist's responsibility to rock stars … Lawrence Dietz, Los Angeles Times Book Review, 23 May 1971 A great soprano has a responsibility to her public … Robert Evett, Atlantic, September 1970 The responsibility for engineering the line of cars which in 1908 evolved the immortal Model T … John Kenneth Galbraith, New York Times Book Review, 28 Feb. 1954 Anthony Burton had once said that this was your responsibility toward society. John P. Marquand, Atlantic, Nov. 1947 The boys denied any responsibility for the damage to the fence. A terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the bombing. The janitor has many responsibilities. Mowing the lawn is your responsibility. She has to deal with a lot of family and work responsibilities. It is your responsibility to give the company two weeks notice if you decide to leave. In her new position, she will have much more responsibility. We have a responsibility to protect the environment. The government's responsibility is to serve the public. The principal has responsibility for 450 students and a staff of 35. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Destination 2023 Strategic Plan is that education is the responsibility of the entire community. cleveland, 18 Nov. 2022 Beyond the responsibility of helping to tell his story, this is also your first leading role in a film. Marley Marius, Vogue, 18 Nov. 2022 Managing a high-class problem like that was ultimately the responsibility of the party who generated that demand in the first place, and that wasn’t Ticketmaster. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 18 Nov. 2022 But with winning comes the responsibility of picking four teams for possible elimination, and everyone knows how chaotic that's going to be with these two back in power. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 17 Nov. 2022 It’s not just the responsibility of just the captain or one person. Sean Gregory, Time, 16 Nov. 2022 Given that documentary right now refers to such a broad umbrella of subgenres, what is the responsibility of a documentary filmmaker at the moment, in your view? Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Nov. 2022 And the Nets are playing with more fortitude and passion than under the laidback Nash, who was completely overwhelmed by the responsibility of being an NBA coach. Gary Washburn,, 9 Nov. 2022 The effort is nonpartisan, but Hagen noted all faith traditions have a vested interest in ensuring the civil responsibility of voting. La Risa R. Lynch, Journal Sentinel, 7 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'responsibility.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


see responsible

First Known Use

1771, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of responsibility was in 1771

Dictionary Entries Near responsibility

Cite this Entry

“Responsibility.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



re·​spon·​si·​bil·​i·​ty ri-ˌspän(t)-sə-ˈbil-ət-ē How to pronounce responsibility (audio)
plural responsibilities
: the quality or state of being responsible
: the quality of being dependable
: something for which one is responsible
neglected his responsibilities

More from Merriam-Webster on responsibility

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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