- 1 having the job or duty of doing something or taking care of somebody/something, so that you may be blamed if something goes wrong responsible (for doing something) Mike is responsible for designing the entire project. responsible (for somebody/something) Even where parents no longer live together, they each continue to be responsible for their children. causing something
- 2 responsible (for something) being able to be blamed for something Who's responsible for this mess? Everything will be done to bring those responsible to justice. He is mentally ill and cannot be held responsible for his actions.
- 3 responsible (for something) being the cause of something Cigarette smoking is responsible for about 90% of deaths from lung cancer. to somebody in authority
- 4 responsible to somebody/something having to report to somebody/something with authority or in a higher position and explain to them what you have done The Council of Ministers is responsible to the Assembly. reliable
- 5 (of people or their actions or behaviour) that you can trust and rely on synonym conscientious Clare has a mature and responsible attitude to work. opposite irresponsible See related entries: Job skills and personal qualities job
- 6 [usually before noun] needing somebody who can be trusted and relied on; involving important duties a responsible job/position Word Origin late 16th cent. (in the sense ‘answering to, corresponding’): from obsolete French responsible, from Latin respons-