responsible (adj.)

1590s, "answerable" (to another, for something), from obsolete French responsible (13c., Modern French responsable, as if from Latin *responsabilis), from Latin respons-, past-participle stem of respondere "respond, answer to, promise in return," from re- "back" (see re-) + spondere "to pledge" (see sponsor (n.)).

Meaning "accountable for one's actions" is attested from 1640s; that of "reliable, trustworthy" is from 1690s. It retains the sense of "obligation" in the Latin root word. Related: Responsibly.

Origin and meaning of responsible

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Definitions of responsible from WordNet

responsible (adj.)
being the agent or cause;
determined who was the responsible party
termites were responsible for the damage
Synonyms: responsible for
responsible (adj.)
worthy of or requiring responsibility or trust; or held accountable;
a responsible position
responsible journalism
a responsible adult
the captain is responsible for the ship's safety
the cabinet is responsible to the parliament
responsible (adj.)
having an acceptable credit rating;
a responsible borrower
Synonyms: creditworthy