Definition of liability in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /lʌɪəˈbɪlɪti/

noun (plural liabilities)

1 [mass noun] The state of being legally responsible for something: once you contact the card protection scheme your liability for any loss ends
More example sentences
  • She gave birth to a healthy child, and the respondents accepted liability for negligence.
  • The distinction between liability for acts and liability for omissions is well known.
  • There is no legal prohibition denying the Community the right to accept liability for private acts of its servants.
accountability, responsibility, legal responsibility, answerability;
incrimination, blame, blameworthiness, culpability, guilt, onus, fault
informal the rap
1.1 [count noun] (usually liabilities) A thing for which someone is responsible, especially an amount of money owed: valuing the company’s liabilities and assets
More example sentences
  • For the other sectors, balance sheet data are limited to financial assets and liabilities.
  • We want to retire with the largest possible pot of assets and the least amount of liabilities.
  • This will include taking into account accrued liabilities and assets.
financial obligation, debt, indebtedness, debit;
(liabilities) debts, arrears, dues
2 [usually in singular] A person or thing whose presence or behaviour is likely to put one at a disadvantage: she said the party had become a liability to green politics
More example sentences
  • One could expect that Junior's presence will become a liability once he spells out his plan.
  • When wildlife is perceived to be a danger and a liability, it compromises the very basis of conservation.
  • Girls would not be seen as a burden or a liability if they were guaranteed an equal right to inheritance and property.
hindrance, encumbrance, burden, handicap, nuisance, inconvenience;
obstacle, impediment, drawback, drag, disadvantage, weakness, shortcoming, problem, weak spot/point;
millstone round one's neck, stumbling block, cross to bear, cross, albatross;
Achilles heel;
British  disbenefit
informal minus, fly in the ointment
archaic cumber

Words that rhyme with liability

ability, agility, civility, debility, docility, edibility, facility, fertility, flexility, fragility, futility, gentility, hostility, humility, imbecility, infantility, juvenility, mobility, nihility, nobility, nubility, puerility, senility, servility, stability, sterility, tactility, tranquillity (US tranquility), usability, utility, versatility, viability, virility, volatility

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: li¦abil|ity

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.