Definition of account for in English:

account for

1Give a satisfactory record of (something, typically money, that one is responsible for): I had to account for every penny I spent
More example sentences
  • The court also indicated that the defendants' fiduciary duty included a responsibility to account for property and money entrusted to them.
  • The records were well maintained and all the money was accounted for,’ he said.
  • There is nothing more satisfying than knowing your entire record can be accounted for by your own hands.
1.1Provide or serve as a satisfactory explanation for: he was brought before the Board to account for his behaviour
More example sentences
  • It is not clear how much variance each of these two explanatory factors provides to account for psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents.
  • Pierre starts life with the belief that there must be some grand system of explanation that will account for life and justify it, and provide the sure interpretation of it.
  • There is no one explanation that accounts for every feature of the grail legend.
Synonyms
explain, give an explanation, come up with an explanation, explain away, answer for, give reasons for, rationalize, provide a rationale for, show grounds for, elucidate, illuminate, clear up;
defend, vindicate, justify, excuse, make excuses for, make acceptable
rare extenuate
1.2Know the fate or whereabouts of (someone or something), especially after an accident: everyone was accounted for after the floods
More example sentences
  • Their families will be aware that they cannot account for their whereabouts at that time. I'd urge them to come forward.
  • No charges were laid against them, as they could all account for their whereabouts the night Seecharan was set ablaze.
  • Why cannot the council account for the whereabouts of the above items or the disappearance of upwards of 20 high quality suits?
2Succeed in killing, destroying, or defeating: a mishit drive accounted for Jones, who had scored 32
More example sentences
  • After a relatively slow start the Lismore team came home with a barnstorming finish to easily account for the highly fancied Coffs Harbour and Armidale teams.
  • At adult level both junior teams were successful with the junior squad defeating Eire Og and the Junior squad accounting for Kilbride.
  • After comfortably accounting for Haydock away and Newton-le Willows at home they destroyed the hopes of Highfield who themselves had aspirations to become league leaders.
Synonyms
dispose of, finish off, make an end of, deal with, put paid to, take care of, clear up, mop up, eliminate, kill, destroy, dispatch, put out of action, incapacitate
3Supply or make up (a specified amount or proportion): social security accounts for about a third of total public spending
More example sentences
  • High utilizers of medical services comprise a small proportion of all patients, yet they account for a disproportionate amount of expenses in the health care system.
  • Children account for a large proportion of casualties because they represent 39 per cent of the overall population in the eight hardest-hit countries.
  • This represents approximately one patient per day and accounts for only a small proportion of attendances with chest pain to an urban emergency department.
Synonyms
constitute, make up, comprise, form, compose, be responsible for, represent, supply, provide, give
See parent entry: account

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