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From accountable +‎ -ity.


  • (US) IPA(key): /ə.ˌkaʊn.tə.ˈbɪl.ət.i/
  • (file)


accountability (usually uncountable, plural accountabilities)

  1. The state of being accountable; liability to be called on to render an account; accountableness; responsible for; answerable for.
    • 1946, Winston Churchill, Sinews of Peace:
      The United States stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power. It is a solemn moment for the American Democracy. For with primacy in power is also joined an awe-inspiring accountability to the future.
  2. (military) The obligation imposed by law or lawful order or regulation on an officer or other person for keeping accurate record of property, documents, or funds. The person having this obligation may or may not have actual possession of the property, documents, or funds. Accountability is concerned primarily with records, while responsibility is concerned primarily with custody, care, and safekeeping.

Usage notesEdit

  • (Can we clean up(+) this sense?) Accountability is condemned by some as jargon of the political élite and referring to a mechanism for democratic good governance that is unworkable in practice.[1]



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Christopher Howse; Richard Preston (2007) She Literally Exploded: The Daily Telegraph Infuriating Phrasebook, London: Constable and Robinson, ISBN 978-1-84529-675-9, page 3.