9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[lahy-uh-bil-i-tee] /ˌlaɪ əˈbɪl ɪ ti/
noun, plural liabilities.
  1. moneys owed; debts or pecuniary obligations (opposed to assets).
  2. Accounting. liabilities as detailed on a balance sheet, especially in relation to assets and capital.
something disadvantageous:
His lack of education is his biggest liability.
Also, liableness. the state or quality of being liable:
liability to disease.
Origin of liability
1785-95; li(able) + -ability
Related forms
nonliability, noun, plural nonliabilities.
preliability, noun, plural preliabilities. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for liability
  • If the mortgage is refinanced, the lender could retain some liability due to the quality of the loan.
  • But her troubled marriage was a political liability waiting to be exposed.
  • The circulating heat can be a liability for delicate baked goods such as custards.
  • At every turn they suggest prosaic things and the usual liability to awkwardness is meantime increased a thousandfold.
  • To hardened backpackers, this sort of well-trod vibe is sometimes considered a liability.
  • Guest accompanying the winner must sign the liability and publicity release described below.
  • Agency waives any defense of sequential or conditional liability to timely payment.
  • On the political stage, too, having spent excessive hours in seminar rooms and libraries is widely regarded as a liability.
  • The presenters offered a number of recommendations to the roomful of higher-education lawyers for limiting liability.
  • Extended terms and capitalized interest add up to lots of borrower liability.
British Dictionary definitions for liability


noun (pl) -ties
the state of being liable
a financial obligation
a hindrance or disadvantage
likelihood or probability
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 liability

1790, originally a term in law; "condition of being legally liable;" see liable + -ity. General sense is from 1809; meaning "thing for which one is liable" is first attested 1842. Related: Liabilities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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liability in Culture

liability definition

An obligation or debt.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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