- answerable or accountable, as for something within one's power, control, or management (often followed by to or for): He is responsible to the president for his decisions.
- involving accountability or responsibility, as in having the power to control or manage: promoted to a responsible position in the firm.
- chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something (usually followed by for): Termites were responsible for the damage.
- having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore accountable; capable of rational thought or action: The defendant is not responsible for his actions.
- able to discharge obligations or pay debts.
- reliable or dependable, as in meeting debts, conducting business dealings, etc.
- (of a government, member of a government, government agency, or the like) answerable to or serving at the discretion of an elected legislature or the electorate.
Origin of responsible
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for responsibly
We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide.Yazidis Face Genocide by ISIS After U.S. Turns Away
November 4, 2014
How one court case could free them to ‘recreate’ responsibly.Could You Lose Your Job for Smoking Legal Pot?
January 7, 2014
You don't want to depend on a teenager or young adult to responsibly go and get the vaccine before they become sexually active.Why You Should Vaccinate Your Sons for HPV
June 3, 2013
Naturally, Central States sensibly and responsibly put that money into the market, where it promptly lost half its value.How the IRS Wrecked Your Pension
May 9, 2013
How to ensure U.S. national security is not undermined as we “responsibly” draw down?America Prepares to Fold in Afghanistan But Must Stay
John Kael Weston
January 16, 2013
I am free and freely and responsibly making the future—so far as I am concerned.The World of H.G. Wells
Van Wyck Brooks
The work was responsibly done, as such work should be in every case.Recollections of a Varied Life
George Cary Eggleston
Since 1811 until this time, he has been responsibly connected with the federal government.
We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan.Inaugural Presidential Address
Barack Hussein Obama
The President could only communicate his opinions to the Senate responsibly, by message.
- (postpositive usually foll by for) having control or authority (over)
- (postpositive foll by to) being accountable for one's actions and decisions (to)to be responsible to one's commanding officer
- (of a position, duty, etc) involving decision and accountability
- (often foll by for) being the agent or cause (of some action)to be responsible for a mistake
- able to take rational decisions without supervision; accountable for one's own actionsa responsible adult
- able to meet financial obligations; of sound credit
Word Origin and History for responsibly
1590s, "answerable" (to another, for something), from obsolete French responsible (13c., Modern French responsable, as if from Latin *responsabilis), from Latin respons-, past participle stem of respondere "to respond" (see respond). Meaning "accountable for one's actions" is attested from 1640s; that of "reliable, trustworthy" is from 1690s. Retains the sense of "obligation" in the Latin root word. Related: Responsibly.