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 Dictionary entry overview: What does responsible mean? 

RESPONSIBLE (adjective)
  The adjective RESPONSIBLE has 3 senses:

1. worthy of or requiring responsibility or trust; or held accountable
2. being the agent or cause
3. having an acceptable credit rating

  Familiarity information: RESPONSIBLE used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

RESPONSIBLE (adjective)

Sense 1responsible [BACK TO TOP]


Worthy of or requiring responsibility or trust; or held accountable

Context examples:

a responsible adult / responsible journalism / a responsible position / the captain is responsible for the ship's safety / the cabinet is responsible to the parliament


trustworthy (taking responsibility for one's conduct and obligations)

liable (held legally responsible)

amenable (liable to answer to a higher authority)

answerable (morally or legally responsible to a higher authority)

accountable (liable to account for one's actions)


prudent (careful and sensible; marked by sound judgment)

obligated (caused by law or conscience to follow a certain course)

trustworthy; trusty (worthy of trust or belief)


responsibility; responsibleness (a form of trustworthiness; the trait of being answerable to someone for something or being responsible for one's conduct)


irresponsible (showing lack of care for consequences)

Sense 2responsible [BACK TO TOP]


Being the agent or cause


responsible for; responsible

Context examples:

determined who was the responsible party / termites were responsible for the damage


causative (producing an effect)

Sense 3responsible [BACK TO TOP]


Having an acceptable credit rating


creditworthy; responsible

Context example:

a responsible borrower


trustworthy; trusty (worthy of trust or belief)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"All good things come to an end." (English proverb)

"No death without reason." (Bhutanese proverb)

"Lamb in the spring, snow in the winter." (Armenian proverb)

"Many small creeks make a big river." (Danish proverb)

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