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account

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noun ac·count \ ə-ˈkau̇nt \
Updated on: 26 Jul 2017

Definition of account

1 a :a record of debit (see 2debit 1a) and credit (see 1credit 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
2 a :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.
3 a (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
4 a :value, importance
  • It's of no account to me.
b :esteem
  • stood high in their account
5 :advantage
  • turned her wit to good account
6 a :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

Examples of account in a Sentence

  1. the difference between the debit and credit sides of an account

  2. We always keep very good accounts.

  3. We opened new accounts at a bank last week.

  4. I took out my money and closed my account.

  5. You can withdraw up to $1,000 a day from your account.

  6. Every week, she puts a part of her paycheck into a separate account.

  7. setting up a bank account

Recent Examples of account from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of account

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


2

account

verb

Definition of account

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

Examples of account in a Sentence

  1. account themselves lucky to be alive

Recent Examples of account from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of account

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 1count"

account Synonyms


Financial Definition of ACCOUNT

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.


ACCOUNT Defined for English Language Learners

account

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noun

Definition of account for English Language Learners

  • : 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


account

verb

Definition of account for English Language Learners

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


ACCOUNT Defined for Kids

1

account

noun ac·count \ ə-ˈkau̇nt \

Definition of account for Students

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 :2worth 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.

2

account

verb

Definition of account for Students

accounted; accounting
: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.

Law Dictionary

1

account

noun ac·count

legal Definition of account

1 a :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

2

account

intransitive verb

legal Definition of account

:to give a financial account
  • a duty to account


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