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responsibility Line breaks: re|spon¦si|bil¦ity
Pronunciation: /rɪˌspɒnsɪˈbɪlɪti/

Definition of responsibility in English:

noun (plural responsibilities)

[mass noun]
1The state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone: women bear children and take responsibility for childcare
More example sentences
  • So therefore, we have to take responsibility for controlling those powers we develop.
  • The entire community has to take responsibility for preventing and dealing with victimization.
  • The NEP is designed to encourage local communities to take responsibility for managing their own estuaries.
authority, control, power, leadership, management, influence;
2The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something: the group has claimed responsibility for a string of murders
More example sentences
  • The President is constitutionally unable to accept blame or responsibility for anything which happens under his watch.
  • But a minister should also be prepared to accept blame and responsibility for the mistakes and bungles made.
  • And by setting up a demand that is impossible to fulfil, it replaces responsibility and accountability with blame.
2.1 [in singular] (responsibility to/towards) A moral obligation to behave correctly towards or in respect of: individuals have a responsibility to control their behaviour
More example sentences
  • They have the responsibility to behave reasonably in the face of possible threats.
  • Individuals had a moral responsibility to secure just rights for themselves and others.
  • I think they have a moral responsibility to people.
trustworthiness, level-headedness, rationality, sanity, reason, reasonableness, sense, common sense, stability, maturity, adultness, reliability, dependability, competence
3The opportunity or ability to act independently and take decisions without authorization: we expect individuals to take on more responsibility
More example sentences
  • Install a corporate ethics officer with real authority and independent reporting responsibility to the board.
  • They were given both decision making power and responsibility.
  • Such mutual independence supported by collective responsibility through state institutions seems like a good thing to me.
3.1 [count noun] (often responsibilities) A thing which one is required to do as part of a job, role, or legal obligation: he will take over the responsibilities of Overseas Director
More example sentences
  • Actors need to adopt a wider set of roles and responsibilities, underpinned by regulation.
  • Further official roles and responsibilities are being drawn up by the board.
  • The table gives the main roles and responsibilities for research governance.


on one's own responsibility
Without authorization: he postponed, on his own responsibility, a proposal for a broadcast by the Archbishop of Canterbury
More example sentences
  • Is an archbishop authorized to draw that kind of money on his own responsibility, without telling anybody?
  • Rather than sticking to your own stable skills, you should be flexible and polyvalent, and you should do this on your own responsibility, autonomously.
  • To that end they supply services to third parties, on their own responsibility, thus acting independently within the meaning of Article 4 of the Sixth Directive.
Definition of responsibility in:
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