Meaning of “responsibility” in the English Dictionary

"responsibility" in British English

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uk /rɪˌspɒn.sɪˈbɪl.ə.ti/ us /rɪˌspɑːn.səˈbɪl.ə.t̬i/

responsibility noun (DUTY)

B2 [ C or U ] something that it is your job or duty to deal with:

[ + to infinitive ] It's her responsibility to ensure the project finishes on time.
She takes her responsibilities as a nurse very seriously.
have responsibility

to be in a position of authority over someone and to have a duty to make certain that particular things are done:

Who has responsibility here?
Jenny, you have responsibility for collecting up the books after the class.
have a responsibility to sb

to have a duty to work for or help someone who is in a position of authority over you:

The company says it cannot cut its prices any more because it has a responsibility to its shareholders.

More examples

  • Fatherhood is a lifelong responsibility.
  • Colin Lamb has taken over responsibility for this project.
  • The council denied that their decision represented any abdication of responsibility.
  • We have the chance to build an outward-looking Europe that lives up to its global responsibilities.
  • Your responsibilities will be mainly administrative.

responsibility noun (BLAME)

B2 [ U ] blame for something that has happened:

Terrorists have claimed responsibility for (= stated that they caused) yesterday's bomb attack.
The minister took/accepted full responsibility for (= admitted that he was to blame for) the disaster and resigned.

More examples

  • He denied all responsibility for the rumours which have been circulating.
  • We disclaim all responsibility for this disaster.
  • The report exonerated the crew from all responsibility for the collision.
  • I accept full responsibility for the failure of the plan.
  • It's your decision - you must bear the responsibility if things go wrong.

(Definition of “responsibility” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"responsibility" in American English

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us /rɪˌspɑn·səˈbɪl·ɪ·t̬i/

responsibility noun (DUTY)

[ C/U ] a duty to take care of something:

[ C ] With this promotion, Jorge’s responsibilities will be increased.
[ U ] Parents must assume responsibility for their children.

responsibility noun (BLAME)

[ U ] the cause of a particular action or situation, esp. a harmful or unpleasant one:

The oil company has denied responsibility for the leak.

(Definition of “responsibility” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"responsibility" in Business English

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uk /rɪˌspɒnsəˈbɪləti/ us

[ C or U ] something that it is your job or duty to deal with:

responsibility to do sth As a board member, I have a responsibility to ask questions.
responsibility towards sb We have a special responsibility towards our employees.
responsibility for sth She will now assume responsibility for the Logistics Division.
take/delegate/share responsibility

[ U ] blame for something that has happened:

responsibility for sth I accept responsibility for the problems.
The company denies responsibility for the disaster.

[ plural ] the things you are in charge of in your job:

Those who survive redundancy may feel compelled to take on / increasing responsibilities.
Employees' increased responsibilities are not always recognized.

(Definition of “responsibility” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)