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liability

[lahy-uh-bil-i-tee] /ˌlaɪ əˈbɪl ɪ ti/
noun, plural liabilities.
1.
liabilities.
  1. moneys owed; debts or pecuniary obligations (opposed to assets).
  2. Accounting. liabilities as detailed on a balance sheet, especially in relation to assets and capital.
2.
something disadvantageous:
His lack of education is his biggest liability.
3.
Also, liableness. the state or quality of being liable:
liability to disease.
Origin of liability
1785-1795
First recorded in 1785-95; li(able) + -ability
Related forms
nonliability, noun, plural nonliabilities.
preliability, noun, plural preliabilities.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for liabilities
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If arrested, they can have no claim to exemption from the liabilities of criminals.

  • Its liabilities were small, it was merely in want of ready-money.

  • The most intangible of assets and the most unescapable of liabilities.

    Rope Holworthy Hall
  • The liabilities thus frankly stated, let us turn to the assets.

  • How was he to pay up the liabilities of his bank shares from his dwindling practice?

    A Houseful of Girls Sarah Tytler
British Dictionary definitions for liabilities

liabilities

/ˌlaɪəˈbɪlɪtɪz/
plural noun
1.
(accounting) business obligations incurred but not discharged and entered as claims on the assets shown on the balance sheet Compare assets (sense 1)

liability

/ˌlaɪəˈbɪlɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
the state of being liable
2.
a financial obligation
3.
a hindrance or disadvantage
4.
likelihood or probability
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for liabilities

liability

n.

1790, originally a term in law; "condition of being legally liable;" see liable + -ity. General sense is from 1809; meaning "thing for which one is liable" is first attested 1842. Related: Liabilities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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liabilities in Culture

liability definition


An obligation or debt.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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13
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