liability Definition

  • 1the state of being responsible for something, especially by law
  • 2a person or thing whose presence or behavior is likely to cause embarrassment or put one at a disadvantage

Using liability: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "liability" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The company has a liability to pay compensation to the victims.

  • Example

    The car's poor brakes are a liability on the road.

  • Example

    His temper is a liability in his job as a customer service representative.

liability Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for liability

Idioms Using liability

  • a person who is seen as a burden or hindrance to society


    The repeat offender was considered a liability to society and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

  • a person or thing that causes harm or damage to oneself


    Smoking is a liability to oneself, as it increases the risk of various health problems.

  • something that is a disadvantage or burden but is still necessary or required


    The long commute to work is a necessary liability for him to be able to afford living in the city.

Phrases with liability

  • a type of legal structure for businesses where the owners' personal assets are protected from the company's debts and liabilities


    The business owner opted for a limited liability company to protect their personal assets.

  • a type of insurance that protects a business or organization from financial loss due to property damage or injury caused to a third party


    The event organizer purchased public liability insurance to cover any accidents or injuries that may occur during the event.

  • a type of legal responsibility that manufacturers and sellers have for injuries or damages caused by their products


    The company faced a lawsuit due to product liability after a customer was injured by their faulty product.

Origins of liability

from Old French 'liable', meaning 'bound'


Summary: liability in Brief

The term 'liability' [ˌlaɪəˈbɪləti] refers to being responsible for something, often by law, and can also refer to a person or thing that is likely to cause embarrassment or disadvantage. Examples include 'The company has a liability to pay compensation to the victims.' and 'His temper is a liability in his job as a customer service representative.' The term extends into phrases like 'limited liability,' and idioms like 'a liability to society,' denoting a burden or hindrance.

How do native speakers use this expression?