- legally responsible: You are liable for the damage caused by your action.
- subject or susceptible: to be liable to heart disease.
- likely or apt: He's liable to get angry.
Origin of liable
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- legally obliged or responsible; answerable
- susceptible or exposed; subject
- probable, likely, or capableit's liable to happen soon
Word Origin and History for unliable
mid-15c., "bound or obliged by law," probably from Anglo-French *liable, from Old French lier "to bind, tie up, fasten, tether; bind by obligation," from Latin ligare "to bind, to tie" (see ligament). With -able. General sense of "exposed to" (something undesirable) is from 1590s. Incorrect use for "likely" is attested by 1886.