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

Another type of spam: Some scammers send emails impersonating Amazon, which amazingly needs to verify your account. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Amazon Prime Day: Gift cards, coupons and other scams to watch for," 14 July 2018 The town, with help of consultant Planimetrics, posted the survey July 9 on the municipal website and its Facebook account. Bill Leukhardt, Courant Community, "Plainville Asks Residents For Ideas On Updating Master Plan Of Devopment," 14 July 2018 Just snap a photo of your item and upload it with a brief description to your Poshmark account. Alessandra Puccio /, NBC News, "Finding your (hidden) value," 13 July 2018 But the Central Bank of Libya late Tuesday agreed to be subjected to an independent review, responding to Mr. Haftar’s contention that its accounts are too opaque. Summer Said, WSJ, "U.A.E. Backed Militia Leader’s Bid to Take Control of Libyan Oil Exports," 13 July 2018 The court filings allege that Russian hackers targeted more than 300 officials in the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign with spearphishing attempts to access their email accounts. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Truth Without Consequences," 13 July 2018 But his private accounts can get as many as 10,000 new followers in a day. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "Why Some of Instagram's Biggest Memers Are Locking Their Accounts," 12 July 2018 The release also said the company was making vouchers available to Build-A-Bear Bonus Club members in the U.S. and Canada who log into their account by midnight on July 15. Conner Mitchell, kansascity, "Hundreds of shoppers stuff Oak Park, Independence malls for Build-A-Bear special," 12 July 2018 Owens posted video last month on his Instagram account that appears to show two stopwatch operators capturing the 44-year-old running 40-yard dashes in 4.43 and 4.44 seconds. Dave Clark,, "Pro Football Hall of Fame won't introduce Terrell Owens at Gold Jacket Dinner or induction," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Conservative-leaning groups account for four out of the five biggest secret-money advertisers so far. Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: Secret money funds more than 40% of outside congressional ads," 12 July 2018 Those payments would have accounted for about 39 percent of each investor's base claim. Deon Roberts, charlotteobserver, "Rick Siskey Ponzi victims will finally get paid, as part of a $10 million deal," 11 July 2018 Twitter accounts with legions of fishy followers are about to take a hit. Ethan Millman,, "Twitter accounts are about to lose a bunch of followers," 11 July 2018 But his impact on these musicians only accounts for part of the far-reaching legacy of Curtis, who died late Sunday afternoon while sleeping at his San Diego home. George Varga,, "Lou Curtiss, a key mentor to Tom Waits, Jack Tempchin and other musicians, has died at 79," 10 July 2018 As an example: Between last year and this year, Tony Romo still accounts for close to $20 million on the Dallas Cowboys’ cap while working for CBS. Andrew Brandt,, "How NFL and NBA Contracts Differ, and What NFL Players Can Do to Change It," 10 July 2018 Those leagues account for 81 of the 92 players on squads of the semifinalists in Russia: England (40), Spain (12), France (12), Germany (nine) and Italy (eight). Rob Harris, The Seattle Times, "Enforced development helps give Europe a grip on World Cup," 10 July 2018 Shelter and rent costs, which account for about a third of overall consumer spending, rose 0.1% in June from May and were up 3.4% from a year earlier. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "Inflation Is Eating Away Worker Wage Gains," 12 July 2018 Free trade would not apply to services, which account for 80 percent of the British economy. Washington Post, "Trump says May’s Brexit plan would kill UK-US trade deal," 12 July 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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Statistics for account

Last Updated

29 Sep 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

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a generally accepted meaning of a word

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