October 16, 2013
- liable (adjective)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : forced by law or by what is right to make good2 : not sheltered or protected (as from danger or accident)3 : exposed to or likely to experience something that is usually undesirable
- How do you use it?
- When Joel and his friends rented the cottage for the weekend, the owner made it clear that they would be liable for any damage.
- Are you a word wiz?
The root word of "liable" is the Latin verb "ligare." What do you think "ligare" means?"Liable" is one of several English words derived from "ligare," which means "to bind." Like "liable," "oblige" descends from "ligare" and indicates being forced to do something. "Ally" and "league" are two more words from "ligare." To "ally" yourself with someone is to unite with them, while a "league" is an alliance of nations or a group united for common interests or goals. A "ligament" is a tough band of tissue that holds bones together or keeps an organ in place in the body, and a thread used in surgery for tying blood vessels is called a "ligature." More generally, a "ligature" is anything that binds or connects.