explain oneself


1

Clarify what one has said or done, as in If you have a few minutes, I'll try to explain myself. [First half of 1600s]

2

Demand or give an explanation or excuse for something wrong one has done. For example, You're three hours late—can you explain yourself?

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