[ uh-kount ]
See synonyms for: accountaccountedaccountingaccounts on

  1. an oral or written description of particular events or situations; narrative: an account of the meetings; an account of the trip.

  2. an explanatory statement of conduct, as to a superior.

  1. a statement of reasons, causes, etc., explaining some event.

  2. reason; basis: On this account I'm refusing your offer.

  3. importance; worth; value; consequence: things of no account.

  4. estimation; judgment: In his account it was an excellent piece of work.

  5. an amount of money deposited with a bank, as in a checking or savings account: My account is now with Third National.

  6. Also called charge account. an accommodation or service extended by a business to a customer or client permitting the charging of goods or services, the returning for credit of unsatisfactory merchandise, etc.: Do you have an account at this store? My account with the restaurant is past due.

  7. a statement of financial transactions.

  8. Bookkeeping.

    • 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.

  9. Commerce.

    • 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.

  10. Digital Technology. an electronic identity, as a username and its associated data, assigned to an individual or group for secure, personalized access to a website, network, digital service, etc.: I don’t access my work account from my home computer.Your email account has been hacked!

verb (used without object)
  1. to give an explanation (usually followed by for): to account for the accident.

  2. to answer concerning one's conduct, duties, etc. (usually followed by for): to account for the missing documents.

  1. to provide a report on money received, kept, and spent.

  2. to cause (usually followed by for): The humidity accounts for our discomfort. His reckless driving accounted for the accident.

verb (used with object)
  1. to regard; consider as: I account myself well paid.

  2. to assign or impute (usually followed by to): the many virtues accounted to him.

Idioms about account

  1. call to account,

    • to hold accountable; blame; reprimand: Call them to account for having endangered their lives.

    • ask for an explanation of.

  2. give a good / bad account of, to do something or conduct oneself in a good (bad, etc.) manner: She gave a good account of herself in the tennis tournament.

  1. hold to account, to hold responsible; hold accountable or culpable: If any of the silver is missing, I'm going to hold you to account.

  2. on account, as an installment or a partial payment: I can't pay the balance, but here's $10 on account.

  3. on account of,

    • by reason of; because of.

    • for the sake of: She saw it through on account of me.

  4. on all accounts, in any case; under any circumstances.: Also at all accounts.

  5. on no account, under no circumstances; absolutely not: On no account should you buy that painting without having it appraised.

  6. take account of, : Also take into account.

    • 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.

  7. turn to account, to derive profit or use from; turn to advantage: She has turned her misfortunes to account.

Origin of account

First recorded in 1225–75; (noun) Middle English a(c)ount(e), ac(c)ompte, from Anglo-French, Old French aco(u)nte, acompte; (verb) Middle English ac(co)unten, from Old French acunter, acompter.See ac-, count1

synonym study For account

1. See narrative.

Other words for account

Other words from account

  • pre·ac·count, verb
  • sub·ac·count, noun
  • un·ac·count·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use account in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for account


/ (əˈkaʊnt) /

  1. a verbal or written report, description, or narration of some occurrence, event, etc

  2. an explanation of conduct, esp one made to someone in authority

  1. ground; basis; consideration (often in the phrases on this (that, every, no, etc) account, on account of)

  2. importance, consequence, or value: of little account

  3. assessment; judgment

  4. profit or advantage: to turn an idea to account

  5. part or behalf (only in the phrase on one's or someone's account)

  6. finance

    • 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

  7. a statement of monetary transactions with the resulting balance

  8. (on the London Stock Exchange) the period, ordinarily of a fortnight's duration, in which transactions formerly took place and at the end of which settlements were made

  9. accounting a chronological list of debits and credits relating to a specified asset, liability, expense, or income of a business and forming part of the ledger

    • a regular client or customer, esp a firm that purchases commodities on credit

    • an area of business assigned to another: they transferred their publicity account to a new agent

  10. call to account or bring to account

    • to insist on explanation

    • to rebuke; reprimand

    • to hold responsible

  11. give a bad account of oneself to perform badly: he gave a bad account of himself in the examination

  12. give a good account of oneself to perform well

  13. on account

    • on credit

    • Also: to account as partial payment

  14. on account of (preposition) because of; by reason of

  15. take account of or take into account to take into consideration; allow for

  16. settle accounts with or square accounts with

    • to pay or receive a balance due

    • to get revenge on (someone)

  1. (tr) to consider or reckon: he accounts himself poor

Origin of account

C13: from Old French acont, from conter, compter to count 1

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with account


In addition to the idiom beginning with account

  • account for

also see:

  • 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

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.