- 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.
- involving accountability or responsibility, as in having the power to control or manage: promoted to a responsible position in the firm.
- chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something (usually followed by for): Termites were responsible for the damage.
- having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore accountable; capable of rational thought or action: The defendant is not responsible for his actions.
- able to discharge obligations or pay debts.
- reliable or dependable, as in meeting debts, conducting business dealings, etc.
- (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.
Origin of responsible
SynonymsSee more synonyms for responsible on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for responsible
“Mona Iraqi is responsible for 25 families losing their lives,” he said, speaking figuratively.Sisi Is Persecuting, Prosecuting, and Publicly Shaming Egypt’s Gays
December 30, 2014
The Guaraldi music is certainly at least 50 percent responsible for A Charlie Brown Christmas becoming as iconic as it has.Yes, I Like Christmas Music. Stop Laughing.
December 24, 2014
Students deemed “responsible” for alleged sexual assaults on college campuses can face little or no consequence for their acts.Jameis Winston Cleared of Rape Like Every Other College Sports Star
December 22, 2014
“They also were responsible for the Barcelona subway plot,” a plan disrupted by Spanish law enforcement in 2008.
Uzbeks were responsible for a recent attack on Karachi airport, he said, and “it looks like of the attack in Peshawar is same.”
The question, he said, was one for a responsible Ministry alone to handle.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
If Maggie had made bad arrangements for her baby, Maggie was responsible.Life and Death of Harriett Frean
Not only am I responsible to him, but He is responsible for me.The Conquest of Fear
They are doled out to you, and you are responsible for them.In the Midst of Alarms
Yes, he had replaced it—because he was responsible for its custody.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
- (postpositive usually foll by for) having control or authority (over)
- (postpositive foll by to) being accountable for one's actions and decisions (to)to be responsible to one's commanding officer
- (of a position, duty, etc) involving decision and accountability
- (often foll by for) being the agent or cause (of some action)to be responsible for a mistake
- able to take rational decisions without supervision; accountable for one's own actionsa responsible adult
- able to meet financial obligations; of sound credit
Word Origin and History for responsible
1590s, "answerable" (to another, for something), from obsolete French responsible (13c., Modern French responsable, as if from Latin *responsabilis), from Latin respons-, past participle stem of respondere "to respond" (see respond). Meaning "accountable for one's actions" is attested from 1640s; that of "reliable, trustworthy" is from 1690s. Retains the sense of "obligation" in the Latin root word. Related: Responsibly.