• synonyms


[an-ser-uh-buh l, ahn-]
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  1. liable to be asked to give account; responsible: He is answerable to a committee for all his decisions.
  2. capable of being answered: a question answerable by mail.
  3. proportionate; correlative (usually followed by to).
  4. corresponding; suitable (usually followed by to): The amount is not answerable to my needs.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for answerability

duty, power, importance, restraint, authority, liability, guilt, burden, obligation, trust, culpability, onus, fault, accountability, charge, loyalty, omission, negligence, defect, misconduct

British Dictionary definitions for answerability


  1. (postpositive; foll by for or to) responsible or accountableanswerable for someone's safety; answerable to one's boss
  2. able to be answered
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper