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

The Intuit knowledge - or Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, the culture's oral histories - was perhaps the most complete collection of firsthand accounts to survive over the decades, some of which was recorded in the 1850s and 1860s. Meagan Flynn, Anchorage Daily News, "A doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic killed 129 men. Now the ship’s artifacts have been found ‘frozen in time.’," 29 Aug. 2019 As the world’s reserve currency, the greenback holds outsize importance in the international economy, often serving as a unit of account when settling trades and playing a critical role in global stock markets. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "Why does the Bank of England want a global digital currency?," 29 Aug. 2019 Around the world, some places are even more innovative, like Kenya with M-Pesa, a payment system built on top of mobile-phone accounts. Owen Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "Western Union beats a strategic retreat from San Francisco," 28 Aug. 2019 Since YouTube and Instagram prohibit activity by individuals younger than 13, all of these kid influencers' accounts are run by their parents. Taylor Mooney, CBS News, "Companies make millions off kid influencers, and the law hasn't kept up," 26 Aug. 2019 The association has, however, given more than $5 million through its for-profit arm to Democratic and Republican Party committee housekeeping accounts since 2014. New York Times, "A Lobbyist Gave $900,000 in Donations. Whose Money Is It?," 26 Aug. 2019 Prosecutors say for at least a decade beginning in 2006, Sebesta had money sent to bank accounts in his name, the names of his family members and several phony companies. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Former LA church chairman charged with $11.4M theft," 26 Aug. 2019 The judge presiding in the lawsuit later reduced the damages to $25 million according to news accounts. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "An urgent look at 400 years of history: ‘Black Atlantic’ exhibit in Oberlin explores impact of slavery," 25 Aug. 2019 Twitter, Facebook and YouTube all suspended or deleted hundreds of accounts that the platforms believe are part of a coordinated effort by China to spread government propaganda. Fortune, "Can Trump ‘Order’ US Firms Out of China? Should He? — CEO Daily," 24 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The more than 150,000 Chinese students in Australian higher educational institutions account for 38% of international enrollees. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Australia plans to tackle foreign influence at nation's universities," 28 Aug. 2019 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is the most common cancers in the US and accounts for about 4% of all cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "College football players shave their heads to support coach battling cancer," 28 Aug. 2019 The industry, which brought around 16 million visitors to Bali last year, accounts for 13 percent of the island’s total waste. NBC News, "Bali fights back as tons of floating plastic threaten to spoil once-pristine paradise," 25 Aug. 2019 Pukki has accounted for all four of Norwich’s goals, with coach Daniel Farke showing no inclination to rein in his side’s forward-style of play in a 4-2-3-1 set-up. Si Wire, SI.com, "Chelsea vs. Norwich City Live Stream, TV Channel: Watch Premier League Online," 24 Aug. 2019 Historical accounts that date to 536 describe a dark fog that dimmed the sun and ushered in a wave of crop deaths. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Colossal volcano behind 'mystery' global cooling finally found," 23 Aug. 2019 Black hair and hair product sales account for billions of dollars annually. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "Mayvenn Is Helping Stylists Earn And Women Save With Their Free Install Program," 21 Aug. 2019 This app fails to account for a user’s choice of settings or plan that may affect speeds. Klint Finley, WIRED, "Think Video on Your Phone Is Slow? It’s Not Your Imagination," 20 Aug. 2019 Aviation accounts for more than 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the European Union. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Private Jet Usage Is Being Criticized for Environmental Reasons," 20 Aug. 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 "to account 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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Statistics for account

Last Updated

1 Sep 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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