Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

liable - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective [never before noun]     liable pronunciation in British English
  1. legally responsible for causing damage or injury, so that you have to pay something or be punished

    If something goes wrong, you’ll be liable.

    liable for:

    The hospital was held liable for negligence.

    He could find himself liable for the cost of the repairs.

    1. a.
      if someone is liable for something, they must pay it or must do it
      liable for:

      You may be liable for tax on any gains you make.

      liable to:

      People found guilty of reckless driving may be liable to imprisonment or a fine.

      Synonyms and related words

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play