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 to make amends to someone for something. Although often used interchangeably they are capable of distinction based on their typical applications.
One is responsible for the performance of a task or duty, or the fulfillment of an obligation, or the execution of a trust, or the administration of an office to the person or body that imposes the task, duty, or trust or delegates the power
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the governor is responsible to the electorate for the administration of the laws

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Sometimes the to phrase or the for phrase is suppressed but still implied
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the salesmen are responsible to the manager and the manager is responsible to the owner

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a teacher is responsible for the conduct of pupils in the classroom

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the ideally free individual is responsible only to himself— Henry Adams

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while held responsible for the bank's operations, the president has powers considered largely nominal— Current Biog.

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Sometimes when both phrases are suppressed, responsible implies manifest ability to fulfill one's obligations especially by reason of developed powers of judgment and sense of moral obligation
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his record shows that he is a responsible person

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One is answerable to someone for something who, because of a moral or legal obligation or because of the acceptance of such an obligation for another, may be called upon to pay the penalty for a violation of the law or a neglect of duty; the term usually indicates or implies the existence of a judge or tribunal
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men in business, who are answerable with their fortunes for the consequences of their opinions— Hazlitt

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there was something ineradicably corrupt inside her for which her father was not answerable—E. K. Brown

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the minister who is answerable to Parliament for the affairs of the BBC— Beachcroft

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One is accountable to someone for something who because of something entrusted to him is bound to be called upon to render an account of how that trust has been executed. Accountable is much more positive than responsible or answerable in its suggestion of retributive justice in case of default
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if the physicist discovers new sources of energy that may be readily released for destructive purposes, he should not be held accountable for their use— Gauss

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the Russian leaders . . . are not accountable to their people— The Reporter

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Amenable and liable especially stress subjection and suggest the contingency rather than the probability or certainty of being called to account.
One is amenable, usually to something, whose acts are subject to the control or the censure of a higher authority and who, therefore, is not self-governing or absolute in power
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is it to be contended that the heads of departments are not amenable to the laws of their country?— John Marshall

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scholar and teacher alike ranked as clerks . . . amenable only to the rule of the bishop— J. R. Green

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One is liable that by the terms of the law may be made answerable in case of default
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a surety is liable for the debts of his principal

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the present United States . . . took nothing by succession from the Confederation . . . was not liable for any of its obligations— Taney

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Liable does not, however, always imply answerability. It may imply mere contingent obligation
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every citizen is liable for jury duty

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he is only 39, and liable for military service under the new actShaw

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Analogous words: subject, open, exposed (see LIABLE): *reliable, dependable, trustworthy

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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 — 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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