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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Comparison of usage frequency between the noun liability and its most common antonym:

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Definition of the noun liability

What does liability mean as a name of something?

Liability is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: liabilities

  1. the state of being legally obliged and responsible
  2. an obligation to pay money to another party
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • synonyms of liability: financial obligation / indebtedness
    • more generic word: obligation = the state of being obligated to do or pay something
    • more specific terms:
      • limited liability = the liability of a firm's owners for no more than the capital they have invested in the firm
      • debt = the state of owing something
      • arrears = the state of being behind in payments
      • account payable / payable = a liability account showing how much is owed for goods and services purchased on credit
      • scot and lot = obligations of all kinds taken as a whole
  3. the quality of being something that holds you back
    • lexical domain: Attributes - nouns denoting attributes of people and objects
    • antonym: asset
    • more generic words: bad / badness = that which is below standard or expectations as of ethics or decency
    • more specific terms:
      • weak point = an attribute that is inadequate or deficient
      • disadvantage = the quality of having an inferior or less favorable position

Alternative definition of the noun liability


  1. the condition of being liable
  2. an obligation, debt or responsibility owed to someone.
  3. a handicap that holds one back
  4. the likelihood of something happening

Definition of the noun liability for high school students

    something for which one is legally responsible, usually involving a disadvantage or risk
    • example: The bungee-jumping tower was a great liability for the owners of the carnival.
    a handicap, burden
    • example: Because she often lost her concentration and didn't play defense, Marcy was a liability to the team.

The noun liability is considered to be a word that all college-aspiring students should know and understand, so it frequently appears on the SAT, ACT and other college admissions tests.


"Liability" is a composition.


Liability: In financial accounting, a liability is defined as an obligation of an entity arising from past transactions or events, the settlement of which may result in the transfer or use of assets, provision of services or other yielding of economic benefits in the future.

  • also known as 負債

Phrases with Liability

Phrase starting with the word Liability:

  1. liability insurance

Phrases ending with the word Liability:

  1. No liability
  2. tax liability
  3. limited liability
  4. limited-liability
  5. Secondary liability
  6. Vicarious liability
  7. Enterprise liability

Other phrases containing the word Liability:

  1. Limited liability company
  2. Public Limited Liability Company
  3. Private Limited Liability Company

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Liability

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewRoad map to understanding innovative technology options for brownfields investigation and cleanup (1998)

by United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Technology Innovation Office, PRC Environmental Management, Inc

Joint and Several Liability Under CERCLA, joint and several liability is a concept based on the theory that it may not be...

Several liability means that the plaintiff may choose to sue only one of the defendants and recover the entire amount.

Google previewUnlocking Criminal Law (2013)

by Jacqueline Martin, Tony Storey

The main argument against strict liability is that it imposes guilt on people who are not blameworthy in any way.

Although an important reason for imposition of strict liability is the maintenance of high standards so that health and safety are ...

Google previewFinancial ACCT 2010 (2010)

by Norman Godwin, C. Wayne Alderman

A liability is an obligation of a business. Liabilities are generally classified into two main categories on a classified balance sheet: • Current liabilities • Long- term liabilities Current Liabilities A current liability is an obligation that is reasonably ...

Google previewGlobal Trends in VAT/GST and Direct Taxation (2015)

Schriftenreihe IStR Band 93 by Sebastian Pfeiffer, Marlies Ursprung-Steindl

Unlimited tax liability means generally the taxation of worldwide income while limited tax liability means the taxation of source income of the respective country. 737 Under the direct taxes, such as income taxes an unlimited tax ...

Google previewIntroduction to Company Law (2010)

by Paul Lyndon Davies

Although 'limited liability' is a well-known phrase, at least three (not necessarily mutually exclusive) meanings can be attached to it. At its narrowest, limited liability means that that claims of the company's business creditors cannot be asserted ...

Google previewWhen Robots Kill (2013)

Artificial Intelligence Under Criminal Law by Gabriel Hallevy

Strict liability is the lowest layer of the mental element; it replaces what was formerly known as absolute liability. Strict liability is a relative legal presumption ofnegligence based on the factual situation alone, which may be refuted by the ...

Google previewWhen Principles Pay (2012)

Corporate Social Responsibility and the Bottom Line by Geoffrey Heal

liability is an obligation to make a future expenditure due to past or ongoing manufacturing or other commercial activity, which adversely affects any aspect of the environment, the economy, or society. • A potential corporate social liability is a ...

Google previewJoint enterprise (2012)

eleventh report of session 2010-12, Vol. 1: Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Justice Committee

Crucially, secondary liability is a common law doctrine.

Google previewCriminal Law (2013)

by Joel Samaha

But you should keep them in mind anyway, because in the real world, criminal liability is the exceptional form of social control. The norm is the other four categories mentioned in the beginning of the chapter (p. 4). And they should be, because ...

Google previewElectromagnetic Environments and Health in Buildings (2004)

by Derek Clements-Croome

Product liability is the term used in respect of private legal rights to seek compensation for injuries sustained as a result of exposure to a dangerous product. Product safety, on the other hand, is the remit of a regulatory regime and concerns ...

Google previewThe American and English Encyclopedia of Law (1896)

by John Houston Merrill, Thomas Johnson Michie, Charles Frederic Williams, David Shephard Garland

Liability of Agent, 1 , 407 Torts of sub- agent, ...

Google previewMerriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law (1996)

by Merriam-Webster, Inc

against any one of the tortfeasors 0 In some jurisdictions, joint and several liability remains despite adoption of comparative fault, and in others it has been eliminated by comparative fault. joint liability : liability that is shared (as by co- owners); ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Soviet Law (1985)

by F. J. Ferdinand Joseph Maria Feldbrugge, Gerard Pieter Van den Berg, William Bradford Simons

Administrative liability ensues for an administrative fault or error. Such liability is imposed not by the organization in which the civil servant is employed, but by the organization having jurisdiction over the sphere of activity in which the error or ...

Google previewThe Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology (2010)

by Irving B. Weiner, W. Edward Craighead

Risk management refers to the basic premise that ethical problems can be prevented and legal liability can be reduced through the use of some commonsense ethical principles. These principles include understanding relevant ethical and ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Canadian Social Work (2009)

by Francis J. Turner

professional liability ing the basis for professional judgment, intervention, and decision making (Yelaja 1982). Because what might help one person may not be good for another, each professional practitioner must exercise professional ...

Google previewDictionary of Accounting (1985)

by Ralph W. Estes

accrued expense An expense incurred but not yet paid; recorded in the accounts by debiting an expense account and crediting a liability account. For example, wages for work performed represent ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Library and Information Science (1992)

Volume 51 - Supplement 14: Automation of Library and Information Services in China: II. Taiwan to Thesaurus Management Software by Allen Kent

PREMISES LIABILITY Introduction In an increasingly litigious society it is prudent to run any operation with a degree of care which will minimize the chances of incurring a law suit. Moreover, there is a moral (though not necessarily legal) ...

Google previewConcise Encyclopedia of Insurance (2010)

by Lawrence Silver, Robert E Stevens, Kenneth Clow

DEADHEADING LIABILITY When a truck/tractor is operating with a trailer or semitrailer, but without a load, it is “deadheading.” In this situation, the load has been delivered and the truck is not being used for trucking purposes. Often the truck ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Liability

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Photos about Liability

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of A competitor signing the Waiver of Liability and his entry at The Kiplingcotes Derby, England's oldest Horse Race : Kiplingcotes, East Yorkshire, UK : 19 March 2015 : Pic Mick AtkinsSmall photo of Chains over prohibited medications. Pills, syrups and syringe. Abuse, drug addiction and criminal liability for dealers.Small photo of Professional liability on a court table.Small photo of Liability Word Cloud tag cloud isolatedSmall photo of A businessman pressing a Liability button on a transparent screen.Small photo of BUSINESS TEAM WORKING OFFICE LIABILITY CONCEPTSmall photo of Property or Liability claim form document concept with Silver pen, Red clock, Gold coins money, Plastic mini house and Calculator More...

Video language resources about Liability

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View more videos about No liability, Tax Liability, Limited liability, Liability insurance, Secondary liability, Vicarious liability, and Enterprise liability.

See also the pronunciation examples of Liability!

Quotes about Liability

Trust is the biggest liability of all.
more quotes about liability...

Scrabble value of L1I1A1B3I1L1I1T1Y4

The value of this 9-letter word is 14 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of LIABILITY

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See also the blanagrams of Liability!

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