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OTHER WORDS FROM accountabilitynon·ac·count·a·bil·i·ty, noun
Words nearby accountability
What does accountability mean?
Accountability is the obligation to explain, justify, and take responsibility for one’s actions.
Accountability is the state of being accountable, meaning responsible for something or obligated to answer to someone, such as a person with more authority, like a boss.
The word accountability is often used in the context of individuals, especially in the term personal accountability. It is also commonly used in the context of institutions or people that are responsible to the public, such as the government, its agencies, politicians, and the media. Accountability is often discussed with transparency and consequences. This typically involves keeping people and organizations accountable by making their actions visible and having consequences when those actions are not acceptable.
Example: The system of checks and balances is intended to ensure accountability among the different branches of government.
Where does accountability come from?
The first records of the word accountability come from the 1700s. Its base word, account, is often used as a verb meaning “to justify” or “to explain,” as in How do you account for your actions? To be accountable, then, is to be able to account for one’s actions, and accountability is the state of being able to account for one’s actions.
There can be no accountability without an account—meaning a record of what happened, or at least the knowledge of it. If actions are hidden, there can be no accountability for them. This means that personal accountability starts with honesty, and accountability in institutions and organizations starts with transparency (such as access to documents). Accountability also involves establishing consequences. Otherwise, people and institutions would be free to do whatever they wanted—leading to corruption. In this way, accountability usually involves methods intended to prevent too much power from being held in one place. For individuals, it often involves recognizing shortcomings (such as implicit bias) and working to overcome them.
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What are some other forms related to accountability?
- accountable (adjective)
- nonaccountability (noun)
What are some synonyms for accountability?
What are some words that share a root or word element with accountability?
What are some words that often get used in discussing accountability?
How is accountability used in real life?
Accountability is discussed in the context of both organizations and individuals.
With so much at stake, it’s incredible how refs in premier league still don’t have to answer anything about their decisions. Without accountability, this will continue to happen.
— FG (@FunnyGooner) December 31, 2017
Absolutely. The Founders were thinking about the accountability of political leaders, and they saw mail delivery as a crucial part of the process of representation. https://t.co/wSNlgOrMOF
— Joanne Freeman (@jbf1755) December 31, 2017
Personal accountability can be learned. It’s not easy. It will difficult in the beginning. But once you become accountable your life changes IMMEDIATELY. It doesn’t take weeks, months or years. Your life changes instantly once you take control of it.
— The Coach Chris (@thecoachchris_) December 30, 2017
Try using accountability!
True or False?
Accountability usually requires transparency and consequences.
How to use accountability in a sentence
Collecting and using data of police encounters with the public for accountability and improvement is an essential tool for this change.Why some senior officers are making it harder for police departments to fight racism|matthewheimer|August 26, 2020|Fortune
Gómez said it was important to seek accountability from those seeking public office – “especially those who we support.”Gómez ‘Pausing’ Barrios Support Amid Criminal Investigation|Andrew Keatts|August 26, 2020|Voice of San Diego
From virus testing and tracing to school closures to police accountability, our reporters have provided quality journalism on the issues that matter.Morning Report: Power Company Challenged on Fire Prevention Plans|Voice of San Diego|August 25, 2020|Voice of San Diego
We need accountability reporting at the local level now more than ever.ProPublica Selects Six Public Broadcasting Projects for Local Reporting Network|by ProPublica|August 21, 2020|ProPublica
Transparency and accountability are essential elements of reform.
Ultimately, disclosure laws are an essential tool for promoting transparent supply chains and corporate accountability.Aaron Rodgers Takes Aim at Congo’s ‘Blood Minerals’ War|John Prendergast|December 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
UVA prides itself on holding all students to a high standard of accountability and integrity.
It would inject a threat of accountability into power, and upend the impunity wartime leaders had operated under for years.
The website Bishop Accountability keeps some of the most extensive records on allegations of priestly abuse available.
The center for Justice and Accountability in San Francisco, and other human rights organizations went to work to expand the law.
Even in the desert the monstrous accountability system of the army lived and burgeoned.Overland|John William De Forest
Your flight and apparent escape remove my accountability to the Grand Duke for your person.Romance of Roman Villas|Elizabeth W. (Elizbeth Williams) Champney
The inspectors of internal revenue who were found to obstruct the accountability of the institution have been discontinued.A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents|Edited by James D. Richardson
Arrears so vast imply a corresponding accountability, corresponding by its amount, corresponding by its personal subjects.The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols)|Thomas De Quincey
Commercial use of the Bay is predicated on a permit system that should offer good control and accountability of the tour industry.Humpback Whales in Glacier Bay National Monument, Alaska|United States Department of Commerce, Marine Mammal Commission