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Supposedly vs. Supposably


[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.
Origin of answerable
1540-50; answer + -able
Related forms
answerability, answerableness, noun
answerably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for answerable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Dexter (I tell you again) is answerable for the late Mrs. Eustace's death.

    The Law and the Lady Wilkie Collins
  • Your father takes it upon himself to be answerable for all consequences.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • My impatience was great to walk in the garden, to see if any thing had offered, answerable to my hopes.

    Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded Samuel Richardson
  • "If my father has been guilty, that man is answerable for his guilt," she thought perpetually.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • They have either made Him answerable for it, or they have said that there is some creator besides Him.

    The Gospel of St. John Frederick Denison Maurice
  • For almost all faults of this kind the public are answerable, not the painter.

British Dictionary definitions for answerable


(postpositive; foll by for or to) responsible or accountable: answerable for someone's safety, answerable to one's boss
able to be answered
Derived Forms
answerability, answerableness, noun
answerably, 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 answerable

"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
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