Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Legally obligated; responsible: liable for military service. See Synonyms at responsible.
  • adj. At risk of or subject to experiencing or suffering something unpleasant. Used with to: liable to criminal charges; liable to diabetes.
  • adj. Likely. Often used with reference to an unfavorable outcome: In a depression banks are liable to fail.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Bound or obliged in law or equity; responsible; answerable.
  • adj. Exposed to a certain contingency or casualty, more or less probable.
  • adj. Likely.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Bound or obliged in law or equity; responsible; answerable.
  • adj. Exposed to a certain contingency or casualty, more or less probable; -- with to and an infinitive or noun

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Bound in law or equity; responsible; answerable: as, the surety is liable for the debt of his principal.
  • Having an aptitude or tendency; subject; exposed, as to the doing or occurring of something evil, injurious, or erroneous: as, we are constantly liable to accidents; your plans are liable to defeat.
  • Subordinate; subject.
  • Fit; suitable.
  • Synonyms Incident, Subject, Likely, etc. (see incident); Apt, likely, etc. (see apt).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. held legally responsible
  • adj. subject to legal action
  • adj. (often followed by `to') likely to be affected with
  • adj. at risk of or subject to experiencing something usually unpleasant

Etymologies

Middle English, probably from Old French lier, to bind, from Latin ligāre; see leig- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French lier ("to bind"), from Latin ligare ("to bind, to tie") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.