9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 responsibility
  • So please, don't blame an environmentalist clamoring for responsibility.
  • If you do not take your responsibility in it, don't go blame the professor.
  • She has no personal responsibility other than that of being hostess.
  • But to hold an egg that actually contains nascent life is quite another matter, a tremendous responsibility.
  • If you can't handle the responsibility of a tattoo, don't get one.
  • By leaving, he was accepting his new responsibility.
  • She was blamed for bankrupting the country, when others in the high-spending, lavish court bore equal responsibility.
  • Using the piece meal excuse to avoid responsibility is not acceptable.
  • Energizer has always been committed to offering more performance with more responsibility.
  • It feels right to take our little part of the responsibility of getting a better environment.
British Dictionary definitions for responsibility


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 responsibility

"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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