Liable
Liable Li"a*ble (l[imac]"[.a]*b'l), a. [From F. lier to bind, L. ligare. Cf. {Ally}, v. t., {Ligature}.] 1. Bound or obliged in law or equity; responsible; answerable; as, the surety is liable for the debt of his principal. [1913 Webster]

2. Exposed to a certain contingency or casualty, more or less probable; -- with to and an infinitive or noun; as, liable to slip; liable to accident. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Accountable; responsible; answerable; bound; subject; obnoxious; exposed.

Usage: {Liable}, {Subject}. Liable refers to a future possible or probable happening which may not actually occur; as, horses are liable to slip; even the sagacious are liable to make mistakes. Subject refers to any actual state or condition belonging to the nature or circumstances of the person or thing spoken of, or to that which often befalls one. One whose father was subject to attacks of the gout is himself liable to have that disease. Men are constantly subject to the law, but liable to suffer by its infraction. [1913 Webster]

Proudly secure, yet liable to fall. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

All human things are subject to decay. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • liable — li·a·ble / lī ə bəl/ adj [ultimately from Old French lier to bind, from Latin ligare] 1: answerable according to law: bound or obligated according to law or equity one is liable as an accomplice to the crime of another W. R. LaFave and A. W.… …   Law dictionary

  • liable — li‧a‧ble [ˈlaɪəbl] adjective [not before a noun] LAW 1. legally responsible for paying something: liable for • The troubled company will be liable for about $52 million in back taxes and penalties. 2. likely to be legally punished or forced to… …   Financial and business terms

  • liable — 1 amenable, answerable, *responsible, accountable Analogous words: obliged, constrained, compelled (see FORCE vb): bound, tied (see TIE vb) Contrasted words: exempt, immune (see corresponding nouns at EXEMPTION): *free, independent 2 …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • liable — ► ADJECTIVE 1) responsible by law; legally answerable. 2) (liable to) subject by law to. 3) (liable to do) likely to do. 4) (liable to) likely to experience (something undesirable). ORIGIN perhaps from French li …   English terms dictionary

  • liable — [lī′ə bəl; ] often, esp. for 3 [, lī′bəl] adj. [prob. via Anglo Fr < OFr lier, to bind < L ligare, to bind (see LIGATURE) + ABLE] 1. legally bound or obligated, as to make good any loss or damage that occurs in a transaction; responsible 2 …   English World dictionary

  • liable — (adj.) mid 15c., bound or obliged by law, probably from Anglo Fr. *liable, from O.Fr. lier to bind, tie up, fasten, tether; bind by obligation, from L. ligare to bind, to tie (see LIGAMENT (Cf. ligament)). With ABLE (Cf. able). General sense of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • liable — [adj1] answerable, responsible accountable, amenable, bound, chargeable, obligated, subject, tied; concept 545 Ant. excusable, freed, irresponsible, unaccountable liable [adj2] open, likely apt, assailable, attackable, beatable, conquerable,… …   New thesaurus

  • liable */*/ — UK [ˈlaɪəb(ə)l] / US adjective [never before noun] a) legally responsible for causing damage or injury, so that you have to pay something or be punished If something goes wrong, you ll be liable. liable for: The hospital was held liable for… …   English dictionary

  • liable — /luy euh beuhl/, adj. 1. legally responsible: You are liable for the damage caused by your action. 2. subject or susceptible: to be liable to heart disease. 3. likely or apt: He s liable to get angry. [1535 45; < AF li(er) to bind ( < L ligare) + …   Universalium

  • liable — 01. If someone goes to a party at your house, and then tries to drive home drunk, you could be held [liable] if they are in an accident. 02. She s not a good skater, so she is [liable] to hurt herself if she goes rollerblading without a helmet.… …   Grammatical examples in English

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