Definition of unaccountable in US English:



  • 1Unable to be explained.

    ‘a strange and unaccountable fact’
    • ‘His Honour Justice Lee, for reasons which with great respect are unaccountable, describes them as inevitable.’
    • ‘For some strange, unaccountable reason, I didn't make the cut.’
    • ‘Online petitions don't talk to leadership: leadership ignores them precisely because they are so unaccountable.’
    • ‘Those issues have exposed the unaccountable nature of our Government.’
    • ‘Yet this idea of genius, reinforced by our image of it, implies an acceptance of the influence upon creativity of a divine or otherworldly thing, of the transfiguring influence of something unaccountable and mysterious.’
    • ‘The disfigurement of memory occurs, then, as a story that has the potential to exceed its subject's control, to return an endless number of times, in unaccountable and unpredictable ways.’
    • ‘They're quite unaccountable and irresponsible when it comes to litigation, and they can fight on on the taxpayers' money indefinitely.’
    • ‘Stern pronouncements are hurled down like thunderbolts from Zeus, and, like Zeus, their authors are totally unaccountable to mere human beings.’
    • ‘The mechanism for the unusual journey is a simple, unaccountable magical moment.’
    • ‘Getting your period just seems like such a bizarre, unaccountable thing before you've gotten it - I just wanted to know what it was like.’
    • ‘A lot of weird, unaccountable things happen over the course of the film.’
    • ‘Are we, the North Yorkshire council tax payers, paying heavily for the security of secretive, unaccountable American bases while neglecting our own.’
    • ‘It is centrally controlled and unaccountable except through a disembodied digital voting system administered by the central authority.’
    • ‘Yet once, by a strange and unaccountable impulse, he pressed it with his lips.’
    • ‘Because of some unaccountable glitch, Paul is unable to get the following item posted this morning.’
    • ‘This act represents a case of police power that is unaccountable and arbitrary.’
    • ‘Do you think he is doing any better than the 19 of his time-serving, unaccountable colleagues?’
    • ‘But at the High Court this month he won what can only be described as a pyrrhic victory, ending his battle against what he and many others see as the closed and unaccountable world of private hospitals.’
    • ‘There are plenty of jokes in the show and there's plenty of McKenna's whit - but there's something else that's really unaccountable - magic.’
    • ‘She also makes unaccountable remarks about African-American visual artists.’
    • ‘A shadowy figure has appeared on the horizon to put these democratically unaccountable Johnny Come Latelys in their place.’
    • ‘And looking over the schedule I am unaccountable for my activities for the next hour, though I do remember talking to Rob Thornton during Marcus Schmickler's set.’
    inexplicable, unexplainable, insoluble, unsolvable, incomprehensible, beyond comprehension, beyond understanding, unfathomable, impenetrable, puzzling, perplexing, baffling, bewildering, mystifying, mysterious, arcane, inscrutable, peculiar, unusual, curious, strange, freak, freakish, unparalleled, queer, odd, bizarre, extraordinary, astonishing, obscure, abstruse, enigmatic
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    1. 1.1 (of a person or their behavior) unpredictable and strange.
      • ‘And most of all, there is the unaccountable cruelty, incompetence and stupidity of people.’
      • ‘These countries demonstrate that sanctions often mean little to unaccountable, despotic, governments.’
      • ‘Motivation is one of the movie's troubling weaknesses - Cordier's shift in behavior is, to tell the truth, sudden and unaccountable.’
      • ‘When public services are privatized they are more unaccountable; citizens put both long-term rate stability and proper equipment maintenance at risk.’
      • ‘The act occurs as a crazy, unaccountable event which, precisely, is not willed.’
      • ‘What they do with our data is important but they're unaccountable and secretive.’
      • ‘O'Connor, for my taste, is the great artist of the group, with a purity and intensity of ambition that is utterly idiosyncratic and unaccountable.’
      • ‘Or could it be that it was a contest judged by one thoroughly unaccountable person?’
      • ‘He is unaccountable, except in those rare cases when he bats in interleague games played under National League rules.’
      • ‘She criticised the fact that both external and internal auditors, as well as senior management, had proved unaccountable.’
      • ‘Furthermore, rods are machine-made and optically homogeneous, in contrast to the spheres, which are hand-made and may possess unaccountable individual differences.’
      • ‘In a representational democracy we demand that the political process be open to public scrutiny and generally free from private, particularistic, unseen, and unaccountable actions.’
      • ‘The clause is a powerful tool, created to protect the will of the people from unaccountable judges, and give the members of our federation a little working room to make laws that reflect their community values.’
      • ‘They also point out that these drivers are unaccountable and untraceable.’
      • ‘De Havilland made the point that bloggers are unaccountable, and suggested that the influence of blogging was being overplayed, mostly by bloggers themselves.’
      • ‘Water supply, services and ancillary sectors are too important to be put into the hands of people whose main concern is the profit margin, and will leave us with a fragmented and unaccountable industry.’
      • ‘But his hearings raise the question of why such critical areas have remained so… unaccountable.’
      strange, unusual, peculiar, odd, funny, curious, bizarre, weird, uncanny, queer, unexpected, unfamiliar, abnormal, off-centre
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  • 2(of a person, organization, or institution) not required or expected to justify actions or decisions; not responsible for results or consequences.

    • ‘The claimed input of non-elected people from outside of the Cabinet also undermines the democratic process as such people are unaccountable to the electorate.’
    • ‘This should also be the last election decided by the whims and conflicts of interest of 32 publicly unaccountable officials.’
    • ‘But who wants a world order shaped by these unelected, unaccountable characters?’
    • ‘The research, prevention and treatment of cancer is too important to be left in the hands of a small number of unaccountable scientists, funded by industry money and the voluntary sector.’
    • ‘The lack of transparency in the city budget has proved how the country has seriously deteriorated due to unaccountable leaders.’
    • ‘Many different cultures struggled to come up with the means of providing some kind of realistic feedback to such unaccountable leaders.’
    • ‘Today, as an unelected official, he is unaccountable and irremovable.’
    • ‘I noticed they were experiencing the same things as many Papuans - they were in debt to rapacious moneylenders and held to ransom by unaccountable officials.’
    • ‘The true scandal - is that ministers appoint these people [quangocrats], give them considerable powers, and yet it seems that ministers are completely unaccountable for what they do once they have been appointed.’
    • ‘They argue that the charter is un-democratic because it supposedly takes power away from the democratically elected representatives and gives it to unaccountable judges.’
    • ‘In England, the king is a perpetual magistrate; and it is a maxim which has obtained for the sake of the public peace, that he is unaccountable for his administration, and his person sacred.’
    • ‘In the absence of effective laws as in the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, they are totally unaccountable.’
    • ‘This does not, however, justify the enterprise of crafting law for others to whom they are completely unaccountable.’
    • ‘However, minor infractions have gone unpunished leading to the idea that we are unaccountable for our actions.’
    • ‘They are largely unaccountable to the people whose lives they affect, and deaf to non-economic issues.’
    • ‘You, therefore, are our supreme authority, and yet you are unaccountable to us.’
    • ‘Although they dictate NHS policy on cancer, they are unaccountable to parliament or the public.’
    • ‘We already have in the him an unelected and virtually unaccountable individual who wields far too much power and influence.’
    • ‘An even larger number of Americans with disparate views on the subject of homosexuality object to the idea that shared social norms can be revamped unilaterally by unelected, unaccountable judges.’
    • ‘He is absolutely unaccountable and is never second guessed.’
    • ‘Instead they will leap at the chance to hand matters over to an inquiry, where a judge or some other apparently neutral, unaccountable figure can spend months or years establishing ‘the truth’, Solomon-style.’
    • ‘There will be even less democracy, as more judges and other unaccountable figures are given authority to supervise elected politicians.’
    • ‘Often they are unaccountable to voters - who rarely turn out for elections affecting the districts even when they have the opportunity - or even to the governments that created them.’
    • ‘This caricature of socialism is played up by wealthy businessmen whose enterprises are run from top to bottom by unaccountable officials, stamping their prejudices and favouritisms on the people who do the work.’
    not responsible, unanswerable, not answerable, not liable
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