Definition of liable in English:



  • 1predicative Responsible by law; legally answerable.

    ‘the credit-card company is liable for any breach of contract’
    • ‘The employers were not vicariously liable for his negligence.’
    • ‘A court could find him liable for the very acts involved in the criminal charges.’
    • ‘Where the plaintiff could reasonably avoid losses, the defendant is not liable for those losses.’
    • ‘Might the host ever be legally liable for that injury?’
    • ‘The judge then considered the possibility of the defendants being vicariously liable for negligence of their social workers.’
    • ‘If the covenant has the meaning suggested by the lessees, the lessors are liable for breach of the implied covenant.’
    • ‘A corporation is vicariously liable for strict liability offences to exactly the same extent as a natural person.’
    • ‘Supervisors can be civilly and criminally liable in instances that result in substantial injury or death.’
    • ‘The general rule in tort is that an employer is not liable for the acts of an independent contractor.’
    • ‘In tort, one is not liable for every injury caused by one's negligence.’
    • ‘The valuer is not liable unless he is negligent.’
    • ‘With respect to the windows, the doctor conceded that the plaintiffs were not holding the defendant company liable for the design of the windows.’
    • ‘A lower court held the defendants liable for damages.’
    • ‘As a general principle, people are not legally liable for failing to act, so that a distinction should be drawn between causing death and failing to keep the patient alive.’
    • ‘The owner was held vicariously liable for the negligence of the driver.’
    • ‘However, the defendant is liable for the republication or for the damage caused by it.’
    • ‘Both defendants are joint and severally liable for the plaintiff's loss.’
    • ‘If an infringement occurs, everyone in the chain of sale is separately and jointly liable.’
    • ‘Neither you nor any other person is liable for the payments on the cards.’
    • ‘The trial judge held the defendants liable for failing to close down that part of the factory.’
    responsible, legally responsible, accountable, answerable, chargeable, blameworthy, at fault, culpable, subject, guilty, faulty, censurable
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    1. 1.1liable to Subject by law to.
      ‘non-resident trustees are liable to the basic rate of tax’
      • ‘Can we elect to have the whole of the income assessed to tax on my wife, who is only liable to basic rate tax?’
      • ‘The law is that if people commit serious criminal offences and they're non-citizens, they're liable to deportation.’
      • ‘Unlicensed fireworks displays, even on private property, are illegal and may render the participants liable to prosecution.’
      • ‘He indicated councillors could be personally liable to pay back any loan themselves if they ignored legal advice.’
      • ‘Failure to comply with any of those provisions will render building workers liable to imprisonment.’
      • ‘Is she liable to repay his debts, as the demands are being sent to her home?’
  • 2with infinitive predicative Likely to do or to be something.

    ‘patients were liable to faint if they stood up too suddenly’
    • ‘Basic cable service is liable to cost hundreds of dollars per year.’
    • ‘This area is now open ground liable to be overtaken by weeds and wattles.’
    • ‘Some are clearly panicked by the experience and liable to rush their ascent.’
    likely, inclined, tending, disposed, apt, predisposed, prone, given
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    1. 2.1liable to Likely to experience (something undesirable)
      ‘areas liable to flooding’
      exposed, open, prone, subject, susceptible, vulnerable, in danger of, at risk of, at the mercy of
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Late Middle English: perhaps from Anglo-Norman French, from French lier ‘to bind’, from Latin ligare.