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[ri-spon-suh-bil-i-tee] /rɪˌspɒn səˈbɪl ɪ ti/
noun, plural responsibilities.
the state or fact of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one's power, control, or management.
an instance of being responsible:
The responsibility for this mess is yours!
a particular burden of obligation upon one who is responsible:
the responsibilities of authority.
a person or thing for which one is responsible:
A child is a responsibility to its parents.
reliability or dependability, especially in meeting debts or payments.
on one's own responsibility, on one's own initiative or authority:
He changed the order on his own responsibility.
Origin of responsibility
1780-90; respons(ible) + -ibility
Related forms
nonresponsibility, noun, plural nonresponsibilities.
preresponsibility, noun, plural preresponsibilities.
self-responsibility, noun
superresponsibility, noun, plural superresponsibilities.
1. answerability, accountability. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for responsibilities
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For Captain Dove had trained her to all the responsibilities of the sea.

    The White Blackbird Hudson Douglas
  • I don't see why I can't have a few pleasures along with my responsibilities.

    The Adventurer Cyril M. Kornbluth
  • And what of the rôle of a father in this most vital of responsibilities?

    Heart and Soul Victor Mapes (AKA Maveric Post)
  • If they'd thought as much about their responsibilities as they thought about their rights, they'd still have their rights!

    Changing Winds St. John G. Ervine
  • Meanwhile, young Angus took up the burden of his responsibilities.

    The Land of Strong Men Arthur M. Chisholm
British Dictionary definitions for responsibilities


noun (pl) -ties
the state or position of being responsible
a person or thing for which one is responsible
the ability or authority to act or decide on one's own, without supervision
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 responsibilities



"condition of being responsible," 1787, from responsible + -ity. Meaning "that for which one is responsible" is from 1796. Related: Responsibilities.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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