- a formal record of the debits and credits relating to the person, business, etc., named at the head of the ledger account.
- a balance of a specified period's receipts and expenditures.
- a business relation in which credit is used.
- any customer or client, especially one carried on a regular credit basis.
- Also called advertising account.the business assigned to an advertising agency by a client: The toothpaste account was awarded to a new agency last year.
verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- to hold accountable; blame; reprimand: Call them to account for having endangered their lives.
- ask for an explanation of.
- by reason of; because of.
- for the sake of: She saw it through on account of me.
- to make allowance for; consider: One must take account of the difficult circumstances. Taking account of the high overhead, the price is not excessive.
- to notice or observe.
Origin of account
Synonyms for account
verb (intr, preposition)
- a business relationship between a bank, department store, stockbroker, etc, and a depositor, customer, or client permitting the latter certain banking or credit services
- the sum of money deposited at a bank
- the amount of credit available to the holder of an account
- a record of these
- a regular client or customer, esp a firm that purchases commodities on credit
- an area of business assigned to anotherthey transferred their publicity account to a new agent
- to insist on explanation
- to rebuke; reprimand
- to hold responsible
- on credit
- Also: to accountas partial payment
- to pay or receive a balance due
- to get revenge on (someone)
Word Origin for account
c.1300, "reckoning of money received and paid," from Old French acont "account, reckoning, terminal payment," from a "to" (see ad-) + cont "counting, reckoning of money to be paid," from Late Latin computus "a calculation," from Latin computare "calculate" (see compute).
Meaning "sum of (one's) money in a bank" is from 1833. Sense of "narration" is first attested 1610s. Plural accounts used as a collective or singular in phrases such as to give accounts (of something), is from mid-13c. Phrase by all accounts is attested from 1798.
c.1300, "to count, enumerate," from Old French aconter "to count, render account" (Modern French conter), from a "to" (see ad-) + conter "to count, tell" (see count (v.)). Meaning "to reckon for money given or received, render a reckoning," is from late 14c.; sense of "to explain" (c.1710) is from notion of "answer for money held in trust." Transferred sense of "value" is from late 14c. Related: Accounted; accounting.
Be the determining factor in; cause. For example, The heat wave accounts for all this food spoilage, or Icy roads account for the increase in accidents.
Explain or justify, as in Jane was upset because her son couldn't account for the three hours between his last class and his arrival at home. Both of these related usages are derived from the literal meaning of the phrase, that is, “make a reckoning of an account.” [Second half of 1700s]
In addition to the idiom beginning with account
- account for
- all present and accounted for
- by all accounts
- call to account
- give a good account
- no accounting for tastes
- on account of
- on no account
- on one's own account
- take account of
- take into account
- turn to good account