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responsibility

[ri-spon-suh-bil-i-tee]
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noun, plural re·spon·si·bil·i·ties.
  1. the state or fact of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one's power, control, or management.
  2. an instance of being responsible: The responsibility for this mess is yours!
  3. a particular burden of obligation upon one who is responsible: the responsibilities of authority.
  4. a person or thing for which one is responsible: A child is a responsibility to its parents.
  5. reliability or dependability, especially in meeting debts or payments.
Idioms
  1. on one's own responsibility, on one's own initiative or authority: He changed the order on his own responsibility.

Origin of responsibility

First recorded in 1780–90; respons(ible) + -ibility
Related formsnon·re·spon·si·bil·i·ty, noun, plural non·re·spon·si·bil·i·ties.pre·re·spon·si·bil·i·ty, noun, plural pre·re·spon·si·bil·i·ties.self-re·spon·si·bil·i·ty, nounsu·per·re·spon·si·bil·i·ty, noun, plural su·per·re·spon·si·bil·i·ties.

Synonyms

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1. answerability, accountability.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for responsibilities

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The responsibilities of the position I feel, but accept them without fear.

  • Martin, who already had been doing a man's work, now assumed a man's responsibilities.

    Dust

    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • I don't see why I can't have a few pleasures along with my responsibilities.

    The Adventurer

    Cyril M. Kornbluth

  • If they'd thought as much about their responsibilities as they thought about their rights, they'd still have their rights!

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • From a just view of his responsibilities he had gone on to a morbid one.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine


British Dictionary definitions for responsibilities

responsibility

noun plural -ties
  1. the state or position of being responsible
  2. a person or thing for which one is responsible
  3. the ability or authority to act or decide on one's own, without supervision
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

Word Origin and History for responsibilities

responsibility

n.

"condition of being responsible," 1787, from responsible + -ity. Meaning "that for which one is responsible" is from 1796. Related: Responsibilities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper