Responsibility: Effective Synonym Guide — Definition & Examples

‘Responsibility’ describes a state of being accountable or answerable. A synonym for responsibility is ‘accountability.’ In this article, we’ll explore how to use the term in sentences, its antonyms, and varying synonyms.

Definition of Responsibility

‘Responsibility’ is from responsible +‎ -ity. Responsibility is a ‘duty, or liability for which someone is held accountable.’ It is also “the state of being liable, culpable, or responsible for something in particular.” The dictionary defines the term as “the duty to carry forward an assigned task to a successful conclusion.”

Sentence Examples

  • The President has a responsibility to protect the citizens.
  • They made it their responsibility to cater to the crowd on time.
  • Planting a tree should be everyone’s responsibility for a greener environment.
  • Their responsibility is not as overwhelming as they make it seem.
  • Juan made up her mind to take full responsibility for her actions.
  • As a father, I take responsibility for my wife and children seriously.
  • They have accepted ultimate responsibility for international law by signing this treaty.
  • Agatha did not want the responsibility of a baby.

Synonym for Responsibility — Exploring Words with Similar Meanings

Words similar in meaning to ‘responsibility’ are accountability, commitment, and answerability. Other related terms include charge, constraint, pledge, and trust.

1. Accountability

“Accountability” stems from late Latin accomptare (to account), a prefixed form of computare (to calculate), which in turn derived from putare (to reckon). Accountability defines the state of being liable or answerable for something.

  • The new constitution weakens the accountability of leaders to the people.
  • As a charted fellow, your core character should be accountability.
  • Lack of accountability makes it harder for companies to make progress.

2. Commitment

Commitment is from commit +‎ -ment. The term was borrowed from Latin committō (“to bring together, join, give in charge”), from com- (“together”) + mittō (“to send”). A commitment is a promise or pledge—a clear indication of one’s intentions.

  • We all have a commitment to help someone in need.
  • His commitment was to do his best as a father and husband.
  • The President’s commitment to making the tourism sector viable is achievable.

3. Obligation

The term is from Middle English obligacioun, Old French obligacion, and Latin obligatio. It means ‘to bind.’ It is binding oneself to a cause, law, or action.

  • Your obligation is to do your best as the new Chancellor.
  • As the new Chief Judge, Juan had the obligation not to lie.

4. Duty

The term originates from Middle English duete. Akin to due + -ty. It means ‘to owe.’ It is defined as a moral or legal task assigned to someone.

  • A man’s first duty is to the members of his family.
  • Cynthia was dismissed for her inattention to her duty.
  • As citizens, we have a duty to keep the environment clean.

5. Answerability

‘Answerability’ is from answer +‎ -ability. ‘Answer’ is from Old English answarian “make a statement in reply,” from “against” + swerian “to swear.” Answerability means “ability to answer” and “ability to be responsible.”

  • Workers on the field are answerable to the civic code of conduct.
  • You must be answerable to the boss.
  • Children are answerable to their parents.

Antonyms for Responsibility — Exploring Words with Opposite Meanings

Antonyms are words whose meanings are opposite to another. Some antonyms of ‘responsibility’ include irresponsibility, unreliability immunity, blame, and fault.

1. Unreliability

The word ‘unreliability’ is from un- +‎ reliability. It describes the quality of being unreliable; i.e., unpredictable, uncertain, or wavering. Unreliability connotes that a person, word, statement, or fact cannot be trusted and whose validity requires questioning.

  • The unreliability of the contractors made them lose the government’s favor.
  • The recent unreliability of supply is due to changes in labor laws.

2. Immunity

‘Immunity’ is from the Latin word ‘immunitas,’ which means “the state of being saved from the risk of an attack or hurt.” It defines the state of being insusceptible to an outcome.

  • His powers have granted him immunity from the punishment.
  • Arkansas state is said to enjoy traffic laws immunity.
  • A producer has no immunity when creating a movie.

3. Irresponsibility

The word ‘irresponsibility’ is from ir- +‎ responsibility meaning “without taking any care for the result.” It defines freedom from responsibility.

  • It is an act of gross irresponsibility for a soldier to beat up a civilian.
  • The irresponsibility of the current government is alarming.
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Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

To Wrap Up

Responsibility means “accountability for something.” It is a task you owe to something. A synonym for responsibility is ‘accountability.’ Other related terms include commitment and duty.

Additionally, the antonym for responsibility includes unreliability, immunity, and irresponsibility. A thesaurus provides word synonyms; you could use it to learn other synonyms for responsibility.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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