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

Members can also add a link to an Instagram account and a website. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "Girlboss CEO launches 'LinkedIn for women' platform," 1 July 2019 One, the Warriors add some backcourt depth to relieve Curry and account for Thompson’s absence. Mark Medina, The Mercury News, "After first day of NBA free agency, Warriors thinking ahead to 2020-221 season," 1 July 2019 Give them the same accounts and descriptions British viewers are getting. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "Column: When the Cubs and Cardinals play in London next year, leave the U.S. announcers at home," 1 July 2019 Doporto said the witness’ account and Ayars’ wavering explanation of what happened also led him to believe Cooper-Nurse. Emilie Eaton, ExpressNews.com, "A woman who accuses ex-fiance, a San Antonio police officer, of domestic violence says the scars are still fresh," 27 June 2019 The policy will apply to government officials and political figures—including those running for office—who have verified accounts and more than 100,000 followers. Sarah E. Needleman, WSJ, "Twitter to Flag Tweets by Officials That Violate Its Rules," 27 June 2019 And among the children ages 1 to 4 who die of unintentional injuries, drowning accounts for one-third of the deaths. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Florida Dad Jumps Over 4-Foot Fence to Save 1-Year-Old Son from Drowning in Backyard Pool," 27 June 2019 Officials developed workarounds for some processes — creating temporary Gmail accounts and a manual system for completing property sales — but many systems remain offline. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Meet Baltimore's IT director, who stepped away from a corporate career and into a ransomware crisis," 27 June 2019 Soon after, Wolfgang Pauli, in an attempt to account for the energy that seemed to go missing during the disintegration of radioactive particles, speculated that perhaps the missing energy was carried away by some unknown, elusive particle. Quanta Magazine, "The Simple Idea Behind Einstein’s Greatest Discoveries," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Over the years, these funds have neither kept pace with need nor been adjusted to account for changing populations. Jocelyn Wiener, SFChronicle.com, "Calif. counties inconsistent in offering critical treatment for early psychosis," 5 July 2019 In the 1970s a researcher named MR Pointer actually set out to account for all the colors reflected by the surfaces we humans see—a very different problem than the colored lights a screen might emit, but hold that thought. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Colorful Science of Why Fireworks Look Bad on TV," 4 July 2019 Beyond the value of his production (87 catches, 1,479 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns) as Mahomes' primary target, Hill helps create opportunities for others by forcing defenses to account for his deep speed. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "Offensive fireworks: 5 NFL teams that will be explosive in 2019," 4 July 2019 But there’s widespread agreement about the need to bring China to account. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "‘Nothing we can do’: How a Dallas firm's time in China highlights core dispute in Trump's trade war," 3 July 2019 Gustavo Lopetegui told a congressional committee Wednesday that the Transener company that operates the lines failed to account for and reprogram an emergency system after replacing a high-voltage tower. Washington Post, "Argentina: Faulty reprogramming caused 3-nation blackout," 3 July 2019 All states have to draw legislative and congressional districts every 10 years to account for changes in population. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Judges throw out Wisconsin's gerrymandering case and say they will decide whether fees are owed later," 2 July 2019 Russell can be offensively prolific enough to account for Thompson’s absence at the beginning of the season. Mark Medina, The Mercury News, "After first day of NBA free agency, Warriors thinking ahead to 2020-221 season," 1 July 2019 Attacks on tankers near the Strait of Hormuz—the thoroughfare for a third of the world’s shipped oil—and Saudi Arabia’s East-West pipeline have caused investors to bid up oil prices to account for the risks associated with Middle Eastern oil. David Hodari, WSJ, "Oil Prices Caught Between Slower Growth and Mideast Turmoil," 30 June 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

7 Jul 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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