Definition of account in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈkount/


1A report or description of an event or experience: a detailed account of what has been achieved
More example sentences
  • As you rightly stated, the story reported was an accurate account of the events in the Council Chamber that evening.
  • Based on eyewitness accounts, the report described how Pashtun villages were attacked after being disarmed by local militia commanders.
  • Most of the accounts describe surrealistic events that usually involve cheating death - but not always.
description, report, version, story, narration, narrative, statement, explanation, exposition, delineation, portrayal, tale;
chronicle, history, record, log;
view, impression
1.1An interpretation or rendering of a piece of music: a lively account of Offenbach’s score
More example sentences
  • Schleiermacher is already famous for his Satie interpretations and he gives well nigh definitive accounts of the music on disc.
  • For a conductor not known for his accounts of modern music, Szell did a great deal of it and almost always superbly.
  • We have already had excellent accounts of Beethoven and Mozart symphonies and serenades and now it is the turn of some exquisite Haydn and Schubert symphonies.
2 (abbreviation acct.) A record or statement of financial expenditure or receipts relating to a particular period or purpose: the ledger contains all the income and expense accounts he submitted a quarterly account
More example sentences
  • Any expenditure included in the accounts where receipts or vouchers were not available was properly made in connection with the carrying on of the company's business.
  • Franchisers' financial statements and profit-and-loss accounts, at least in the last two years, should be examined.
  • It alleged that ERF's accounts and financial statements were misstated.
financial record, ledger, balance sheet, financial statement;
(accounts) books
bill, invoice, tally;
debt, charges
informal tab
2.1 (accounts) The department of a company that deals with such records.
Example sentences
  • Two of these men work in the Department's Accounts unit.
  • A product of Maharaja's College, Mysore, where he did his MA in Economics, Mr. Ramaswamy joined the Indian Audit and Accounts Service in 1951.
  • Keith's appraisal - it's staff appraisal time and although other staff talk about their career dreams, David tries to get to know Keith from Accounts whose strengths are. er… Accounts.
3 (abbreviation acct.) An arrangement by which a body holds funds on behalf of a client or supplies goods or services to the client on credit: a bank account charge it to my account I wanted to get some money from the ATM and check my account I began buying things on account
More example sentences
  • By the time the error was discovered, B had withdrawn the funds credited to his account by the F Bank.
  • Child Trust Fund accounts are available from banks, building societies and other financial organisations.
  • The money market earns higher interest rates than their savings bank and credit union accounts.
3.1A client having an account with a supplier: selling bibles to established accounts in the North
More example sentences
  • Unlike other firms cited in the story, Merrill does not disclose trading volume or the number of accounts in its retail brokerage business.
  • Inspiration to pursue corporate accounts came after a customer made a request for 500 crystal bowls.
  • That's especially helpful when I'm taking over an account from another sales rep.
client, customer
3.2A contract to do work periodically for a client: another agency was awarded the account
More example sentences
  • In the nine months before the Unilever account, BT Global Services won £2bn of contracts.
4An arrangement by which a user is given personalized access to a computer, website, or application, typically by entering a username and password: we’ve reset your password to prevent others from accessing your account
More example sentences
  • Choose or create an account and click "Next."
  • This computer doesn't multitask very well, particularly if you have multiple user accounts set up via Windows XP.
  • Please send job offers to me via my iChat account.
5Importance: money was of no account to her
More example sentences
  • The fact that he has collected so many baubles in the glory years is of no account to the second row.
  • You even have it if the remnant of your unfinished cup of tea has been accidentally thrown away by someone else, who's come upon it and thought it unwanted, of no account.
  • The self-evident fact that the numbers applying for asylum correlate precisely with countries where a dog's life would be a step up is of no account.
importance, import, significance, consequence, substance, note
formal moment


[with object and complement]
Consider or regard in a specified way: her visit could not be accounted a success he accounted himself the unluckiest man alive
More example sentences
  • This is accounted a U.N. success.
  • Yet if the minister's professional reputation was salvaged, Bellievre's mission to England cannot be accounted a success.
  • In 1862 Deck took part in the International Exhibition in London, which he accounted a great success.
consider, regard as, reckon, hold to be, think, look on as, view as, see as, judge, adjudge, count, deem, rate



by (or from) all accounts

According to what one has heard or read: by all accounts he is a pretty nice guy
More example sentences
  • I think it's certainly good news that the action that happened overseas has happened quickly and from all accounts there's no evidence of any athletes actually using this new substance.
  • Yet, from all accounts, she came pretty close to erecting a large shopping complex which would have become a rather incongruous backdrop to the Taj Mahal.
  • No matter that from all accounts, including this Sunday morning's, his cricketing abilities ranked somewhere near mine.

call (or bring) someone to account

Require someone to explain a mistake or poor performance.
Example sentences
  • It is interesting that they are not called to account for this startling performance.
  • After that you did not even bring him to account, other than that he ‘made a mistake’, after which everything passed with no punishment.
  • Second, if you violate that trust, you will be called to account, no matter how powerful, no matter how wealthy.

give a good (or bad) account of oneself

Make a favorable (or unfavorable) impression through one’s performance.
Example sentences
  • Gilmour is confident that both his fighters will give a good account of themselves on a bill which is being televised live by Sky.

keep an account of

Keep a record of.
Example sentences
  • They were also told that 10 percent must be saved, 10 percent given to charity, and they had to ‘keep an account of how we spent or saved the other 80 percent’.
  • Somehow he kept an account of these labyrinthine dealings, for the village court records were faultless.
  • Also keeping an account of the goings on was Paddy Maher, originally from Rathleague.

leave something out of account

Fail or decline to consider a factor.
Example sentences
  • If I might say so, the attitude adopted by the judge was that which would perhaps appeal to most lawyers experienced in tax matters if Community law considerations could be left out of account.
  • If the motive or hope of later obtaining a tax benefit is left out of account, the purchase of shares by a dealer in shares and their later sale must unambiguously be classed as a trading transaction.
  • He will be neither consoled nor assured to be told that the prejudicial information was left out of account.

on someone's account

For a specified person’s benefit: don’t bother on my account
More example sentences
  • I held out my arms in response, and watched my breath steam into the morning air as I shouted, ‘Don't bother on my account.
  • The closest you can get to an issue of deprivation of opportunity is through the wife's evidence and she does not ever seem to have communicated to him, on her own account or on his account.
  • I'll venture down to earth as an angel and put in a good word with the Sovereign on your account, get her to mention you more often in this year's Christmas speech.

on account of

Because of.
Example sentences
  • Thames Water says there might be a hosepipe ban on account of there not being enough rain over the winter.
  • I yelled after them, but they didn't hear me on account of already being fifty metres away.
  • As a result of this, I have not been able to take any time off on account of not feeling well.
because of, owing to, due to, as a consequence of, thanks to, by/in virtue of, in view of

on no account

Under no circumstances: on no account let anyone know we’re interested
More example sentences
  • I had been told that on no account should I annoy him, simply note down his behaviour and report it on a detailed and complex form, which was then circulated to numerous agencies.
  • The public are reminded that on no account should any details of their credit card be supplied to callers, no matter how plausible they may be.
  • Effectively they had drawn a line in the sand and told us that the overdraft facilities they had given us were on no account to be exceeded.
never, under no circumstances, not for any reason

on one's own account

With one’s own money or assets, rather than for an employer or client: he began trading on his own account

settle (or square) accounts with

Pay money owed to (someone).
Example sentences
  • Over the past month and a half, the city settled accounts with 13 property owners on the list, collecting more than $280,000 in the process.
  • Out of time, then, for when I deposited a large insurance company cheque after a burglary and, just when I had started to settle accounts with it, they decided to withdraw it without warning, leaving me in the red.
  • PwC were plainly correct in the line they took for, when Jarvis finally settled accounts with Railtrack, Jarvis had to write off this £12 million and a further £6.8 beside.
10.1Have revenge on: the potential danger of using the bill for settling accounts with political opponents
More example sentences
  • The idea, however, was rejected because of the potential danger of using the asset forfeiture bill for settling accounts with political opponents.
  • Stalin believed Hitler would never attack the Soviet Union unless or until he had settled accounts with the British empire - because to do so would expose Germany to a war against too many enemies at once.
  • The DSS has accused the government of using the state of emergency to settle accounts with its political opponents.

take something into account (or take account of)

Consider a specified thing along with other factors before reaching a decision or taking action.
Example sentences
  • A spokesman for the council said the scheme would be considered on its planning merits and the committee would take all viewpoints into account when reaching its decision.
  • Obviously, any major troop movement must be based on a government decision that takes all relevant factors into account.
  • It is for the tribunal as an industrial jury to take all relevant factors into account in reaching its conclusion, giving such weight to them as it considers appropriate.

there's no accounting for tastes (or taste)

proverb It is impossible to explain why different people like different things, especially those things that the speaker considers unappealing.
Example sentences
  • And the only computer I had access to would immediately shut down every time I tried to log into this page (there's no accounting for tastes.)
  • But, as they point out there's no accounting for taste.
  • I've never had such interest shown in my PDA, which I think is much more entertaining, not to mention more likely to contain explosives, but there's no accounting for taste.

turn something to (good) account

Turn something to one’s advantage.
Example sentences
  • Tangible assets, considered simply as material objects, are inert, transient and trivial, compared with the abiding efficiency of that living structure of technology that has created them and continues to turn them to account.
  • Further a field the Blues will look to Philip Nolan, David Bermingham, Pa and Anthony Kavanagh and Gavin and Brian Walker to gain valuable possession and turn it to account.
  • She has not been engaged in a business activity to exploit her sporting prowess or to turn her talent to account in money.

Phrasal verbs

account for

1Give a satisfactory record of (something, typically money, that one is responsible for).
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 or reason for: he was brought before the Board to account for his behavior
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.
explain, answer for, give reasons for, rationalize, justify
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?
1.3Succeed in killing, destroying, or defeating: the fifth inning accounted for Lyons, who gave up three back-to-back home runs
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.
2Supply or make up a specified amount or proportion of: 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.
constitute, make up, form, compose, represent


Middle English (in the sense 'counting', 'to count'): from Old French acont (noun), aconter (verb), based on conter 'to count'.

  • count from Middle English:

    The verb to count is from Latin computare ‘to calculate’, the root also of computer, account (Middle English), and recount (Late Middle English) ‘tell’ (which can also be used for both ‘narrate’ and ‘count’). Counters (Middle English) were originally used to help in counting; in the late 17th century the word came to be used for a surface across which goods were exchanged for money. The title of the count or foreign nobleman, corresponding to the English earl, is a completely different word, which was introduced by the Normans and comes from Latin comes ‘companion, overseer, attendant’. County (Middle English) is from the same root, and seems originally to have referred to the lands or territory of a count, or to a meeting held to discuss the business of the county. See also chicken, duke

Words that rhyme with account

amount, count, fount, miscount, mount, no-account, surmount

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ac·count

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