AskDefine | Define responsibility

Dictionary Definition



1 the social force that binds you to your obligations and the courses of action demanded by that force; "we must instill a sense of duty in our children"; "every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty"- John D.Rockefeller Jr [syn: duty, obligation]
2 the proper sphere or extent of your activities; "it was his province to take care of himself" [syn: province]
3 a form of trustworthiness; the trait of being answerable to someone for something or being responsible for one's conduct; "he holds a position of great responsibility" [syn: responsibleness] [ant: irresponsibility, irresponsibility]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /rɪˌspɑnsəˈbɪlɪti/
  • /rI%spAns@"bIlIti/


  1. The state of being responsible, accountable, or answerable.
    Responsibility is a heavy burden.
  2. A duty, obligation or liability for which someone is responsible or accountable.
    Why didn't you clean the house? That was your responsibility!
    The responsibility of the great states is to serve and not to dominate the world - Harry S. Truman
  3. The obligation to carry forward an assigned task to a successful conclusion. With responsibility goes authority to direct and take the necessary action to ensure success. (JP 1-02 Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms).
  4. The obligation for the proper custody, care, and safekeeping of property or funds entrusted to the possession or supervision of an individual. (JP 1-02 Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms).



the state of being responsible
a duty, obligation or liability for which someone is responsible

See also


Extensive Definition

Responsibility may refer to:
responsibility in German: Verantwortung
responsibility in Spanish: Responsabilidad
responsibility in French: Responsabilité
responsibility in Ido: Responsiveso
responsibility in Italian: Responsabilità
responsibility in Portuguese: Responsabilidade
responsibility in Swedish: Ansvar
responsibility in Turkish: Sorumluluk

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accountability, accountableness, accounting for, action, agency, agentship, amenability, answerability, answerableness, application, arrogation, ascription, assignation, assignment, attachment, attribution, auspices, authority, authorization, blame, bossing, brevet, burden, care, charge, chargeability, commission, commissioning, commitment, conduct, connection with, consignment, credit, culpability, cure, dedication to duty, delegated authority, delegation, dependability, deputation, derivation from, devolution, devolvement, devotion to duty, direction, driving, duteousness, dutifulness, duty, embassy, empowerment, entrusting, entrustment, errand, etiology, execution, executorship, exequatur, exercise, eye, factorship, faithworthiness, fault, full power, functioning, guilt, handling, honor, imputation, incorruptibility, incumbency, intendance, inviolability, job, jurisdiction, legation, liability, license, lieutenancy, management, mandate, manipulation, mission, obligation, occupation, office, onus, operancy, operation, oversight, palaetiology, performance, performing, placement, plenipotentiary power, power of attorney, power to act, practice, procuration, proxy, purview, reference to, regency, regentship, reliability, responsibleness, role, running, saddling, sense of duty, sense of obligation, stability, steering, superintendence, supervision, sureness, surveillance, task, trust, trustability, trusteeship, trustiness, trustworthiness, unfalseness, unperfidiousness, untreacherousness, vicarious authority, warrant, work, working, workings
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