View synonyms for responsible


[ ri-spon-suh-buhl ]


  1. 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.

    Synonyms: liable

  2. involving accountability or responsibility, as in having the power to control or manage:

    promoted to a responsible position in the firm.

  3. chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something (usually followed by for ):

    Termites were responsible for the damage.

  4. having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore accountable; capable of rational thought or action:

    The defendant is not responsible for his actions.

    Synonyms: competent

  5. able to discharge obligations or pay debts.

    Synonyms: solvent

  6. reliable or dependable, as in meeting debts, conducting business dealings, etc.

    Synonyms: trustworthy, reliable, capable, honest

  7. (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.


/ rɪˈspɒnsəbəl /


  1. postpositiveusually foll byfor having control or authority (over)
  2. postpositivefoll byto being accountable for one's actions and decisions (to)

    to be responsible to one's commanding officer

  3. (of a position, duty, etc) involving decision and accountability
  4. often foll by for being the agent or cause (of some action)

    to be responsible for a mistake

  5. able to take rational decisions without supervision; accountable for one's own actions

    a responsible adult

  6. able to meet financial obligations; of sound credit

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • reˈsponsibly, adverb
  • reˈsponsibleness, noun

Discover More

Other Words From

  • re·sponsi·ble·ness noun
  • re·sponsi·bly adverb
  • inter·re·sponsi·ble adjective
  • nonre·sponsi·ble adjective
  • nonre·sponsi·ble·ness noun
  • nonre·sponsi·bly adverb
  • prere·sponsi·ble adjective
  • quasi-re·sponsi·ble adjective
  • quasi-re·sponsi·bly adverb
  • super·re·sponsi·ble adjective
  • super·re·sponsi·ble·ness noun
  • super·re·sponsi·bly adverb
  • unre·sponsi·ble adjective
  • unre·sponsi·ble·ness noun
  • unre·sponsi·bly adverb

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of responsible1

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Latin respōns(us) ( response ( def ) ) + -ible ( def )

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of responsible1

C16: from Latin rēsponsus , from rēspondēre to respond

Discover More

Example Sentences

Authorities should carry out a thorough investigation to find those responsible and give justice to Jeanine.

This means that for this particular account, we used to not know which search queries were responsible for about 20% of costs.

It is responsible for the deaths of over 905,000 people around the world, and more than 190,000 people in the United States alone.

The team is responsible for cranking out hundreds of millions of devices from Asia and shipping them across the world.

From Fortune

If the question is which individual country is responsible for the most emissions, it’s the US, at almost double its nearest competitor, China.

From Vox

“Mona Iraqi is responsible for 25 families losing their lives,” he said, speaking figuratively.

If Uber did actually mislead its customers, it should certainly be held responsible.

Nor am I particularly responsible with my personal finances.

The Guaraldi music is certainly at least 50 percent responsible for A Charlie Brown Christmas becoming as iconic as it has.

Students deemed “responsible” for alleged sexual assaults on college campuses can face little or no consequence for their acts.

But if God made man, then God is responsible for all man's acts and thoughts, and therefore man cannot sin against God.

Then came the strange note this morning, which I believe you, Miss Joyce, are responsible for!

He came later, and Harry, the black-haired boy, was mainly responsible for his coming.

This contrast implies a great wrong somewhere, and for which somebody must be responsible.

Its resolution will be put into practice with all fidelity by the executive power in its character of responsible government.