ac·​count | \ə-ˈkau̇nt \

Definition of account 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a record of debit (see debit entry 2 sense 1a) and credit (see credit entry 1 sense 2d) entries to cover transactions involving a particular item or a particular person or concern

b : a statement of transactions during a fiscal period and the resulting balance

c archaic : reckoning, computation

2a : a statement explaining one's conduct She was asked to give an account of her actions.

b : a statement or exposition of reasons, causes, or motives no satisfactory account of these phenomena

c : a reason for an action : basis On that account I must refuse.

3a(1) : a formal business arrangement providing for regular dealings or services (such as banking, advertising, or store credit) and involving the establishment and maintenance of an account a checking account also : client, customer They are one of our most important accounts.

(2) : money deposited in a bank account and subject to withdrawal by the depositor

b : an arrangement in which a person uses the Internet or e-mail services of a particular company

4a : value, importance It's of no account to me.

b : esteem stood high in their account

5 : advantage turned her wit to good account

6a : careful thought : consideration have to take many things into account

b : a usually mental record : track Keep account of all you do.

7 : a description of facts, conditions, or events : report, narrative the newspaper account of the fire By all accounts they're well-off. also : performance a straightforward account of the sonata

give a good account of oneself

: to perform well especially in a competition or confrontation : to acquit oneself well Though he has an aristocratic bearing, he could probably give a good account of himself in a street fight.— Ishmael Reed

on account

: with the price charged to one's account purchasing on acccount

on account of

: for the sake of : because of The game was cancelled on account of rain.

on no account

: under no circumstances On no account should the children be left alone at home.

on one's own account

1 : on one's own behalf I'm doing it on my own account, not for anyone else.

2 : at one's own risk

3 : by oneself : on one's own


accounted; accounting; accounts

Definition of account (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to furnish a justifying analysis or explanation used with for couldn't account for the loss

2a : to be the sole or primary factor used with for The left fielder accounted for all three putouts.

b : to bring about the capture, death, or destruction of something used with for Enemy fighters accounted for two of the bombers.

transitive verb

1 : to think of as : consider accounts himself lucky

2 : to probe into : analyze

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Synonyms & Antonyms for account

Synonyms: Noun

admiration, appreciation, esteem, estimation, favor, regard, respect

Synonyms: Verb

call, consider, count, esteem, hold, look (on or upon), rate, reckon, regard, set down, view

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of account in a Sentence


the difference between the debit and credit sides of an account We always keep very good accounts. We opened new accounts at a bank last week. I took out my money and closed my account. You can withdraw up to $1,000 a day from your account. Every week, she puts a part of her paycheck into a separate account. setting up a bank account


account themselves lucky to be alive
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Nonetheless, an Ameriprise study found that 23% of adults with pre-tax retirement plans have withdrawn funds or borrowed money from their accounts. Abby Haglage,, "4 Women Explain Why They Liquidated Their 401(k)s — & If It Was Worth It," 13 July 2018 Richard Overton, who also served in War War, II had his bank account compromised by thieves last month., "Bank Restores Funds To 112-Year-Old Veteran Whose Money And Identity Was Stolen," 9 July 2018 Twitter’s purge of suspicious accounts Wednesday has resulted in the social media platform's most popular users taking big hits to their number of followers. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Twitter purge means fewer followers for Trump, Obama, Justin Bieber," 13 July 2018 From former President Barack Obama to Justin Bieber, the internet’s biggest social media influencers lost millions of Twitter followers Thursday as the platform began a massive purge of suspicious accounts. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Celebrities Are Losing Millions of Followers as Twitter Slashes Fake Accounts," 13 July 2018 According to Perry, his team has to get dozens of fake accounts shutdown daily. CBS News, "Trace Adkins says taking down impostors on social media like playing "whack-a-mole"," 12 July 2018 Some of these accounts may have once belonged to actual people before being taken over by hackers. Alyssa Newcomb /, NBC News, "Twitter begins purging millions of users from follower counts," 11 July 2018 Twitter is getting rid of fake accounts at a record pace. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Twitter’s wiping tens of millions of accounts from its platform," 11 July 2018 All of the Instagram accounts in the movie are real. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Why 'Eighth Grade' is the most painfully real middle-school movie you've ever seen," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Incidents at grade schools accounted for close to 8 percent of the 1,093 cases reported in California last year. Anita Chabria And Michael Finch Ii, sacbee, "Hate crimes in Sacramento County have increased by 66 percent since 2014," 12 July 2018 Lamb accounted for the Diamondbacks’ first run with a second-inning RBI single. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Shelby Miller much better this time out, but Diamondbacks still fall to the Padres," 5 July 2018 Only the arrogant ascendance of psychiatry in postwar America—warmly remembered by Neubauer's former research assistant, Natasha Josefowitz—can account for the researchers' duplicity. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Triplets ripped from family in a Nazi-like experiment, probed in Three Identical Strangers," 5 July 2018 Each domain accounts for a host of factors, such as weapon imports and political stability, to give each nation three scores that average for the overall composite, according to the index's methodology. Ryan Craggs, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 10 Safest Countries in the World," 5 July 2018 Millennial women accounted for 82% of U.S. births in 2016., "Not An Entitled Millennial: How 4 Young Women Support Their Whole Families," 27 June 2018 The Southern Ocean accounts for half the ocean’s uptake of carbon from the atmosphere and the majority of the heat uptake, despite comprising only 30 percent of the world’s ocean area. Discover Magazine, "The Salt Life," 27 June 2018 Those 11 completions accounted for 151 of his 242 yards, or 62% of his production. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "Is Jalen Ramsey downplaying Jimmy Garoppolo's performance against the Jaguars?," 26 June 2018 That first year, Musk’s children accounted for nearly two thirds of the student body. Mark Harris, Ars Technica, "First space, then auto—now Elon Musk quietly tinkers with education," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'account.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of account


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1c


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for account


Middle English acounte, accompt, borrowed from Anglo-French acunte, acounte, noun derivative of acunter "to account entry 2"


Middle English accounten, acounten, accompten "to count, compute, evaluate, give an account of," borrowed from Anglo-French acunter, acompter, from a-, prefix forming transitive verbs (going back to Latin ad- ad-) + cunter, compter "to count entry 1"

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Learn More about account

Statistics for account

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for account

The first known use of account was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for account

on account


Financial Definition of on account

What It Is

On account is a term that describes situations in which a customer makes a partial payment for goods or services purchased.

How It Works

In the business world, buying things on account is the same as creating accounts payable. For example, let's assume that Company XYZ orders $1 million in widget parts from its supplier.

Company XYZ pays the supplier $100,000 and puts the other $900,000 on account. This basically means it will pay the rest later -- let's say in 60 days.

Why It Matters

Buying things on account is similar to saying, "put it on my tab." Eventually, however, you have to pay the tab. In our example, the transaction requires careful accounting. Once Company XYZ places its order and/or receives the parts, it will increase its inventory account by $1 million, decrease its cash by $100,000, and increase its accounts payable by $900,000. When 60 days has passed and Company XYZ pays the invoice, it will reduce cash by $900,000 and reduce its accounts payable by $900,000.

Technically, any kind of installment loan (such as your mortgage or car loan) is akin to putting something on account. In the business world, putting things on account usually creates accounts payable (or A/P). A/P is a liability, and as such, it appears on the balance sheet.

In turn, when accounts payable go down, this is considered a use of cash on the company's cash flow statement, and as such, it reduces the company's working capital (defined as current assets minus current liabilities). When accounts payable goes up, this is considered a source of cash on the company's cash flow statement because the company is "stretching out" the time it takes to pay its invoices and thus not using cash as quickly.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of account

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a record of money that has been paid and money that has been received

accounts : records of income and expenses

: an arrangement in which a bank keeps a record of the money that a person puts in and takes out of the bank



English Language Learners Definition of account (Entry 2 of 2)

: to think of (someone or something) in a specified way


ac·​count | \ə-ˈkau̇nt\

Kids Definition of account

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a record of money received and money paid out

2 : an arrangement with a bank to hold money and keep records of transactions

3 : an arrangement for regular dealings with a business

4 : an arrangement in which a person uses the Internet or e-mail services of a particular company

5 : a statement of explanation or of reasons or causes You'll be asked to give an account of your actions.

6 : a statement of facts or events : report Give me an account of the game.

7 : worth entry 2 sense 1, importance It's of no account to them what I think.

on account of

: because of We cancelled on account of the rain.

on someone's account

: because of someone Don't stay on my account.


accounted; accounting

Kids Definition of account (Entry 2 of 2)

: to think of as He accounted himself lucky.

account for

1 : to take into consideration She didn't account for extra costs.

2 : to give an explanation How do you account for your success?

3 : to be the cause of The flu accounts for many absences.

4 : to make up or form Women account for half the employees.

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Legal Definition of account 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a record of debit and credit entries to cover transactions involving a particular item (as cash or notes receivable) or a particular person or concern

b : a statement of transactions during a fiscal period showing the resulting balance sometimes used in the pl. trustees filed annual accounts as required by statute— W. M. McGovern, Jr. et al.

2 : a periodically rendered reckoning (as one listing charged purchases and credits)

3 : a sum of money or its equivalent deposited in the common cash of a bank and subject to withdrawal at the option of the depositor

4 : a right under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code to payment for goods or services which is not contained in an instrument or chattel paper and that may or may not have been earned by performance

Legal Definition of account (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give a financial account a duty to account

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Comments on account

What made you want to look up account? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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