Definition of responsibility in English:



mass noun
  • 1The state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.

    ‘a true leader takes responsibility for their team and helps them achieve goals’
    • ‘I make the effort, not only to recycle but to take responsibility for the waste my home produces.’
    • ‘The more we take responsibility for our energy, the more empowered and productive we become.’
    • ‘Throughout the marriage, Heather assumed primary responsibility for the care of the children and the home.’
    • ‘The pilot in command bears ultimate responsibility for his own safety.’
    • ‘‘The minister's prime responsibility and biggest duty is to ensure public safety,’ she said.’
    • ‘There was an onus on parents to take responsibility for their children and this was not emphasised enough.’
    • ‘In their new role, grandmothers became intimately involved with their grandchildren by assuming primary responsibility for their care.’
    • ‘Women are more likely to take responsibility for daily and routine money management and ensure that children's needs are met.’
    • ‘And, if we deal with reality, scholars must take responsibility for theories.’
    • ‘The entire community has to take responsibility for preventing and dealing with victimization.’
    • ‘As well as recruiting for the new roles, the company will take responsibility for training and management of all new hires.’
    • ‘So therefore, we have to take responsibility for controlling those powers we develop.’
    • ‘And in turn, those subjugated by that state should take responsibility for their leaders.’
    • ‘Fellow climbers offer limited help, but no one is prepared to take responsibility for his life.’
    • ‘However, paraprofessionals assumed primary responsibility for the personal care of students and for playground supervision.’
    • ‘The NEP is designed to encourage local communities to take responsibility for managing their own estuaries.’
    • ‘I'm sure it's possible for us as a species to take responsibility for our own waste products.’
    • ‘Individual producers are encouraged to take responsibility for the biosecurity of their livestock enterprises.’
    • ‘The first step is to take responsibility for your computer just like you take responsibility for your own health.’
    • ‘There was a lack of creativity and a lack of taking responsibility on our part, " Christie said.’
    authority, control, power, leadership, management, influence
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  • 2The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.

    ‘the group has claimed responsibility for a string of murders’
    • ‘I had not realised how much he blamed himself, how willing he was to accept full responsibility for what had happened to me.’
    • ‘No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but such violence is usually blamed on religious militants.’
    • ‘The letter attempts to apportion responsibility and blame between our council and the Government.’
    • ‘And by setting up a demand that is impossible to fulfil, it replaces responsibility and accountability with blame.’
    • ‘Not once did the manager accept any blame or responsibility himself.’
    • ‘For the first time, something deep within his being finally faced the facts, finally accepted responsibility.’
    • ‘Once again the government is abdicating its responsibility and laying the blame elsewhere.’
    • ‘Do you want me to take full blame and full responsibility?’
    • ‘No one seemed to care, be accountable, or accept responsibility - except me.’
    • ‘He places the blame and responsibility for the murder on the boy in question and how he was raised.’
    • ‘In fact, no one has claimed responsibility for any of the recent terrorist attacks in the area.’
    • ‘But a minister should also be prepared to accept blame and responsibility for the mistakes and bungles made.’
    • ‘The President is constitutionally unable to accept blame or responsibility for anything which happens under his watch.’
    • ‘Every department blames the other and no one accepts responsibility.’
    • ‘Start by accepting this responsibility and stop blaming others for your failures.’
    • ‘This is another form of avoiding responsibility and shifting blame.’
    • ‘They shirked responsibility, put the blame on others, finding refuge in generalities and then in an unthinking bustle of activity.’
    • ‘The blame and responsibility rests squarely upon human shoulders.’
    • ‘The proprietors will not accept responsibility for any loss of or damage to personal property while on the premises.’
    • ‘Now, there has been a claim of responsibility for today's attack.’
    blame, fault, guilt, culpability, blameworthiness, liability
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    1. 2.1responsibility to/towardsin singular A moral obligation to behave correctly towards or in respect of.
      ‘individuals have a responsibility to control their behaviour’
      • ‘I also maintain that employers have a moral responsibility to pay their staff a living wage.’
      • ‘They understand that they have the responsibility to behave in an acceptable manner.’
      • ‘Let's examine if we have an ethical responsibility to respect this secret.’
      • ‘Individuals had a moral responsibility to secure just rights for themselves and others.’
      • ‘Each and every individual has a responsibility towards these forests and trees, he said.’
      • ‘Every citizen has the right to information, but they also have a responsibility to respect various security considerations.’
      • ‘They have the responsibility to behave reasonably in the face of possible threats.’
      • ‘We have a responsibility to respect their creative integrity and artistic vision while finding new ways to do business.’
      • ‘Or might we reduce it to a moral question: do not occupiers have a moral responsibility to take the most extraordinary care with civilian lives?’
      • ‘They have a moral responsibility to be impartial and to show that they are impartial.’
      • ‘We have a responsibility to respect the consciences of the individuals and groups among us and among the church community.’
      • ‘Certainly we have a responsibility to work toward relieving the global burden of injustice.’
      • ‘I think they have a moral responsibility to people.’
      • ‘He says that to maintain integrity, doctors have a moral responsibility to act as advocates for their patients and try and change the system.’
      • ‘Junior staff now have limits on their working hours, but we have a moral responsibility to get the work done.’
      • ‘Where the private sector fails to provide jobs, the public sector has a moral responsibility to do so.’
      • ‘I don't know about the UN's legal rights, but surely there's a moral responsibility to intervene.’
      • ‘Every person has a responsibility to behave with integrity, honesty and fairness.’
      • ‘You and I have a moral responsibility to lift these families out of poverty.’
      • ‘I believe we have a moral responsibility to change the world for today's and tomorrow's children.’
      trustworthiness, level-headedness, rationality, sanity, reason, reasonableness, sense, common sense, stability, maturity, adultness, reliability, dependability, competence
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  • 3The opportunity or ability to act independently and take decisions without authorization.

    ‘we expect individuals to take on more responsibility’
    • ‘Cultures like the Japanese or some continental European ones are less aghast at the idea of collective decision making and responsibility.’
    • ‘Give employees ownership of and responsibility for their decisions.’
    • ‘Install a corporate ethics officer with real authority and independent reporting responsibility to the board.’
    • ‘Lessons about decision making and responsibility are combined with often harsh physical tests to reinforce the message.’
    • ‘This sums up very neatly his belief that people should be given both responsibility and opportunity, and that they will use both wisely.’
    • ‘He said the corporation should also be given some responsibility and authority in the sandmining operations.’
    • ‘He observed that meetings served several illusory purposes: communication, decision making, and responsibility.’
    • ‘Such mutual independence supported by collective responsibility through state institutions seems like a good thing to me.’
    • ‘And they want equality of both opportunity and responsibility.’
    • ‘The increases were recommended by independent panels, which say new ways of making decisions mean more responsibility and work.’
    • ‘Moreover, the job has provided me with great responsibility as well as opportunities, many of which I have exploited.’
    • ‘Employees are chosen for self-sufficiency and for the ability to take responsibility.’
    • ‘They already have responsibility for key decisions about transport, waste, energy, housing and other development.’
    • ‘They were given both decision making power and responsibility.’
    • ‘If you believe in social justice, in solidarity, in equality of opportunity and responsibility, then believe in the reforms to get us there.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, employers have made a decision to pass retirement responsibility back to the state, by closing final salary schemes up and down the country.’
    • ‘Not making a decision absolves procrastinators of responsibility for the outcome of events.’
    • ‘Give responsibility for minor decision making to the elder councils.’
    • ‘It's a real commitment to equal opportunity, to fiscal responsibility and a fair society.’
    • ‘It's very important for the growth of the child's ability and responsibility to think in a complex way.’
    1. 3.1often responsibilitiescount noun 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’
      • ‘The role and responsibilities of the sponsor in clinical research are key issues.’
      • ‘Unhappiness at work and home can also arise if you feel unsure about how to cope with your responsibilities.’
      • ‘Civilian officers have been asked to take on their responsibilities, he said.’
      • ‘I know of a particular group who are already set up and will take on this task and the responsibilities that go with it.’
      • ‘The company cannot be allowed to get out of its legal responsibilities in this way.’
      • ‘I have different responsibilities now, and as yet have no idea how onerous they'll be.’
      • ‘I hope they will receive a commensurate pay rise for any additional responsibilities.’
      • ‘My responsibilities have dramatically decreased, giving me time to learn my lines.’
      • ‘The burden of his espionage responsibilities gives him a distinct air of desperation.’
      • ‘The club is well aware of its responsibilities and treats the situation very seriously.’
      • ‘We have a social responsibility and the authority has legal responsibilities.’
      • ‘These newly elected trustees must surely be aware of the magnitude of their responsibilities.’
      • ‘Further official roles and responsibilities are being drawn up by the board.’
      • ‘His responsibilities include modernisation of the health service across the North.’
      • ‘She'd like me to be more creative, but that kind of life is easier if you don't have responsibilities.’
      • ‘The table gives the main roles and responsibilities for research governance.’
      • ‘It would have responsibilities over a range of areas including jobs, housing and planning.’
      • ‘Three months ago my girlfriend began a more demanding job with a lot of new responsibilities.’
      • ‘Actors need to adopt a wider set of roles and responsibilities, underpinned by regulation.’
      • ‘He has resumed full responsibilities at work and continues to play a key role in the partnership.’
      duty, task, function, job, role, place, charge, business, onus, burden, liability, accountability, answerability, province
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  • on one's own responsibility

    • Without authorization.

      ‘he postponed, on his own responsibility, a proposal for a broadcast by the Archbishop of Canterbury’
      • ‘He stated that the religious organisations were doing the registration on their own responsibility and the department has nothing to do with it.’
      • ‘However, three months later, he decided on his own responsibility to try the drug again, and four hours later, had a tonic-clonic seizure.’
      • ‘I am aware that cases may occur where the commanding general, acting on his own responsibility, may with safety pass this limit, and with essential advantage to his country.’
      • ‘‘He has fared ill,’ is an addition that each man makes on his own responsibility.’
      • ‘When the Officer of the watch believes the ship to be running into danger it is his duty to act at once on his own responsibility.’
      • ‘Is an archbishop authorized to draw that kind of money on his own responsibility, without telling anybody?’
      • ‘Yet so far, we as a nation have not only shirked responsibility for our own emissions, but have even interfered with the efforts of other nations to act on their own responsibility.’
      • ‘Rather than sticking to your own stable skills, you should be flexible and polyvalent, and you should do this on your own responsibility, autonomously.’
      • ‘I will send this letter to the Lieutenant General on my own responsibility.’
      • ‘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.’