adjective Etymology: Anglo-French responsable, from respuns Date: 1643 1. a. liable to be called on to answer b. (1) liable to be called to account as the primary cause, motive, or agent <
a committee responsible for the job
(2) being the cause or explanation <
mechanical defects were responsible for the accident
c. liable to legal review or in case of fault to penalties 2. a. able to answer for one's conduct and obligations ; trustworthy b. able to choose for oneself between right and wrong 3. marked by or involving responsibility or accountability <
responsible financial policies
a responsible job
4. politically answerable; especially required to submit to the electorate if defeated by the legislature — used especially of the British cabinet • responsibleness nounresponsibly adverb Synonyms: responsible, answerable, accountable, amenable, liable mean subject to being held to account. responsible implies holding a specific office, duty, or trust <
the bureau responsible for revenue collection
. 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
. accountable suggests imminence of retribution for unfulfilled trust or violated obligation <
elected officials are accountable to the voters
. 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

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • responsible — re‧spon‧si‧ble [rɪˈspɒnsbl ǁ rɪˈspɑːn ] adjective 1. be responsible for something to be officially in charge of something as part of your job, meaning you must accept the blame if something goes wrong: • Partners are officially responsible for… …   Financial and business terms

  • responsible — responsible, answerable, accountable, amenable, liable can all mean subject to an authority which may exact redress in case of default. Responsible, answerable, and accountable are very close, all meaning capable of being called upon to answer or …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • responsible — re·spon·si·ble adj 1 a: liable to be called on to answer b: liable to be called to account as the primary cause, motive, or agent c: liable to legal review or in case of fault to penalties 2: characterized by trustworthiness, integrity, and… …   Law dictionary

  • responsible — [ri spän′sə bəl] adj. [MFr < L responsus: see RESPONSE] 1. expected or obliged to account (for something, to someone); answerable; accountable 2. involving accountability, obligation, or duties [a responsible position] 3. that can be charged… …   English World dictionary

  • Responsible — Re*spon si*ble (r?*sp?n s?*b l), a. [Cf. F. responsable. See {Respond}.] 1. Liable to respond; likely to be called upon to answer; accountable; answerable; amenable; as, a guardian is responsible to the court for his conduct in the office. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • responsible — 1590s, answerable (to another, for something), from Fr. responsible, from L. responsus, pp. of respondere to respond (see RESPOND (Cf. respond)). Meaning morally accountable for one s actions is attested from 1836. Retains the sense of obligation …   Etymology dictionary

  • responsible — [adj1] accountable, in charge answerable, at fault, at the helm, authoritative, bonded, bound, bound to, carrying the load, censurable, chargeable, compelled, constrained, contracted, culpable, decision making, devolving on, duty bound, engaged,… …   New thesaurus

  • responsible — ► ADJECTIVE 1) having an obligation to do something, or having control over or care for someone. 2) being the cause of something and so able to be blamed or credited for it. 3) morally accountable for one s behaviour. 4) capable of being trusted …   English terms dictionary

  • responsible — is spelt ible, not able. See able, ible …   Modern English usage

  • responsible — re|spon|si|ble W2S2 [rıˈspɔnsıbəl US rıˈspa:n ] adj ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(guilty)¦ 2¦(in charge of)¦ 3¦(sensible)¦ 4¦(cause)¦ 5 responsible job/position 6 be responsible to somebody ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1.) ¦(GUILTY)¦ [not before noun] if someone is responsible for an… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • responsible — adj. 1 having the job/duty of doing sth VERBS ▪ be ▪ become ▪ remain ▪ make sb ▪ I am making you responsible for the cooking …   Collocations dictionary

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