Definition of liable in English:



  • 1Responsible by law; legally answerable.

    ‘the supplier of goods or services can become liable for breach of contract in a variety of ways’
    • ‘The employers were not vicariously liable for his negligence.’
    • ‘The general rule in tort is that an employer is not liable for the acts of an independent contractor.’
    • ‘However, the defendant is liable for the republication or for the damage caused by it.’
    • ‘If an infringement occurs, everyone in the chain of sale is separately and jointly liable.’
    • ‘The valuer is not liable unless he is negligent.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In tort, one is not liable for every injury caused by one's negligence.’
    • ‘Supervisors can be civilly and criminally liable in instances that result in substantial injury or death.’
    • ‘Both defendants are joint and severally liable for the plaintiff's loss.’
    • ‘A court could find him liable for the very acts involved in the criminal charges.’
    • ‘A corporation is vicariously liable for strict liability offences to exactly the same extent as a natural person.’
    • ‘A lower court held the defendants liable for damages.’
    • ‘Might the host ever be legally liable for that injury?’
    • ‘The trial judge held the defendants liable for failing to close down that part of the factory.’
    • ‘Neither you nor any other person is liable for the payments on the cards.’
    • ‘Where the plaintiff could reasonably avoid losses, the defendant is not liable for those losses.’
    • ‘The owner was held vicariously liable for the negligence of the driver.’
    • ‘If the covenant has the meaning suggested by the lessees, the lessors are liable for breach of the implied covenant.’
    • ‘The judge then considered the possibility of the defendants being vicariously liable for negligence of their social workers.’
    • ‘With respect to the windows, the doctor conceded that the plaintiffs were not holding the defendant company liable for the design of the windows.’
    responsible, legally responsible, accountable, answerable, chargeable, blameworthy, at fault, culpable, subject, guilty, faulty, censurable
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  • 2Likely to do or to be something.

    ‘patients were liable to faint if they stood up too suddenly’
    • ‘Some are clearly panicked by the experience and liable to rush their ascent.’
    • ‘This area is now open ground liable to be overtaken by weeds and wattles.’
    • ‘Basic cable service is liable to cost hundreds of dollars per year.’
    likely, inclined, tending, disposed, apt, predisposed, prone, given
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    1. 2.1Likely 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.