account

noun
ac·​count | \ ə-ˈkau̇nt How to pronounce account (audio) \

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 account
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

account

verb
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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Examples of account in a Sentence

Noun

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

Verb

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

John Lyons, the executive editor of ABC, published a blow-by-blow account on Twitter as AFP agents executed a search warrant against the media organization. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Australia’s Media Raids and the Decline of Press Freedom Worldwide," 6 June 2019 One reason is that trade accounts for a surprisingly small portion of the economy. Paul Wisemand And Joyce M. Rosenberg, chicagotribune.com, "How Trump's tariffs on China and Mexico could hurt the U.S. economy," 6 June 2019 Social media was abuzz early Wednesday as something fishy appeared to be going on with the Texans' star wide receiver's Instagram account. Jordan Ray, Houston Chronicle, "Texans' DeAndre Hopkins' Instagram account appears to have been hacked," 5 June 2019 That's when the Instagram stories started rolling in on Austin's account. Samantha Lauriello, Health.com, "The Photo of This Dude’s Broken Toe Is so Gross—but His Wife Turned It Into the Most Hilarious Thing Ever," 5 June 2019 The perpetrators had access to systems containing Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers and medical records belonging to millions of individuals. Mike Chapple For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "How taking Social Security numbers public could fix our data breach crisis," 5 June 2019 That includes Mercy Otis Warren, a historian whose accounts of Revolutionary War years helped explain and document political tensions and issues of the time. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Chicago's 'Hamilton' exhibit showcases the real history highlighted in the popular musical," 5 June 2019 Clark’s account was deleted on May 29 after her tweets drew attention, NBC News reports. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "Texas District Moves to Fire Teacher Who Tried to Report Undocumented Students to Trump on Twitter," 5 June 2019 So instead of signing on to third-party websites using a Facebook or Google account, Apple users will soon have the choice to sign on with a privacy-promoting service from Apple. Alyssa Newcomb, Fortune, "Apple's New Sign-In Feature Is a 'Shot Across the Bow' at Google and Facebook," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The centerpiece of his proposal was raising the gas tax by 8 cents per gallon and increasing it annually to account for inflation. Todd Richmond, Twin Cities, "Finance committee OKs Republican road-funding plan," 6 June 2019 It is expected to account for one-fifth of BMW’s North American production. Gabrielle Coppola And Andrea Navarro / Bloomberg, Time, "Why Trump's Threatened Mexico Tariffs Are Really Bad News for BMW," 6 June 2019 Taken once in summer and once in winter to account for seasonal variability, cortisol concentrations tended to be high in the sheepdogs and collies when their human guardians’ levels were also high. Melissa Healy, latimes.com, "Coming home stressed? Your dog is internalizing those bad vibes too, study suggests," 6 June 2019 States must draw new legislative and congressional maps every 10 years to account for population changes. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Robin Vos won't have to testify in Wisconsin gerrymandering case for now, and may not have to at all," 4 June 2019 In 2016, the online wholesale company Boxed adjusted the prices of some of its personal care products to account for the pink tax. Beth Dreher, Good Housekeeping, "What Is the Pink Tax? If You're a Woman, It's Costing You Lots of Money Every Year," 23 May 2019 Bishop has found a way to account for the differences in lifestyle and climate that typify vacation, without letting them limit her imagination. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "How One Designer Dreams Up Exciting Island Getaways That Function Like Home," 17 May 2019 To account for this, the report’s authors looked at women’s earnings across a 15-year period, and compared those with men’s. Anna North, Vox, "You’ve heard that women make 80 cents to men’s dollar. It’s much worse than that.," 2 Apr. 2019 In that same time frame, Guatemalans accounted for nearly half of all migrants who sought to enter the U.S. with their relatives—more than those from El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico combined. Lauren Bohn, Marie Claire, "Who Killed Claudia Gomez?," 2 May 2019

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

Noun

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

Verb

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

History and Etymology for account

Noun

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

Verb

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

9 Jun 2019

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

noun

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

account

noun

English Language Learners Definition of account

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

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

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

account

noun
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.

account

verb
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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account

noun
ac·​count

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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More from Merriam-Webster on account

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with account

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for account

Spanish Central: Translation of account

Nglish: Translation of account for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of account for Arabic Speakers

Comments on account

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