Definition of responsibility in English:


Syllabification: re·spon·si·bil·i·ty
Pronunciation: /riˌspänsəˈbilətē

noun (plural responsibilities)

  • 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 child care
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    • 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
  • 1.1The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something: the group has claimed responsibility for a string of murders
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    • 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.
  • 1.2The opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization: we would expect individuals lower down the organization to take on more responsibility
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    • 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.
  • 1.3 (often responsibilities) A thing that one is required to do as part of a job, role, or legal obligation: he will take over the responsibilities of overseas director
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    • 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.
    duty, task, function, job, role, business
  • 1.4 [in singular] (responsibility to/toward) A moral obligation to behave correctly toward or in respect of: individuals have a responsibility to control personal behavior
    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, common sense, sense, maturity, reliability, dependability

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