8 Words That Are Older Than You Think


[uh-koun-tuh-buh l] /əˈkaʊn tə bəl/
subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; responsible; answerable.
capable of being explained; explicable; explainable.
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English; see account, -able
Related forms
accountableness, noun
accountably, adverb
nonaccountable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for accountable
  • As long as people are given a handout they will not exert themselves, or become accountable and responsible for their own actions.
  • Let the legal system do it's job and hold anyone involved accountable.
  • The members are elected by no one and are accountable to no one.
  • The record that e-mail creates can also make brokers more accountable.
  • Onlookers question whether the shifting media landscape leaves higher education less accountable.
  • People are always personally accountable for their behavior.
  • We should do this right, and hold bankers accountable for their actions.
  • Student life needs certain autonomy and cannot be organized educationally as strictly accountable activities.
  • Through the courts, you might say, managers are held accountable to society at large.
  • Someone should be held accountable for these needless deaths.
British Dictionary definitions for accountable


responsible to someone or for some action; answerable
able to be explained
Derived Forms
accountability, noun
accountably, 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
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Word Origin and History for accountable

"answerable," literally "liable to be called to account," c.1400 (mid-14c. in Anglo-French); see account (v.) + -able. Related: Accountably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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