[ an-ser-uh-buh l, ahn- ]
/ ˈæn sər ə bəl, ˈɑn- /


liable to be asked to give account; responsible: He is answerable to a committee for all his decisions.
capable of being answered: a question answerable by mail.
proportionate; correlative (usually followed by to).
corresponding; suitable (usually followed by to): The amount is not answerable to my needs.

Nearby words

  1. answer,
  2. answer back,
  3. answer for,
  4. answer print,
  5. answer to,
  6. answerback,
  7. answering machine,
  8. answering pennant,
  9. answering service,
  10. ant

Origin of answerable

First recorded in 1540–50; answer + -able

Related formsan·swer·a·bil·i·ty, an·swer·a·ble·ness, nounan·swer·a·bly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for answerability


/ (ˈɑːnsərəbəl) /


(postpositive; foll by for or to) responsible or accountableanswerable for someone's safety; answerable to one's boss
able to be answered
Derived Formsanswerability or answerableness, nounanswerably, adverb

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 answerability



"liable to be held responsible," 1540s, from answer (v.) + -able. Less-common meaning "able to be answered" is from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper