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 email 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 factoring all of these issues into account — see also take account of
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


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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The administration of Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish has since provided with documents that show that the county has set aside its portion of the money in a separate account. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, "Cleveland won’t say what happened to convention center naming rights money," 5 May 2021 In some South American countries, 40% of those businesses don't have a bank account. Sandy Thin, CNN, "What's making beer got to do with Silicon Valley? AB InBev is finding out," 4 May 2021 Sometimes criminals put a bogus refund into a taxpayer’s bank account, then call the target posing as the IRS., "Be on alert for the IRS’s ‘dirty dozen’ tax scams," 4 May 2021 The collection is a largely unknown account of a time when Cusk’s literary idol, D.H. Lawrence, came to stay with Luhan in Taos, New Mexico. Antonia Hitchens, WSJ, "Rachel Cusk’s ‘Second Place’ Might Be the First Pandemic Novel," 4 May 2021 The diaries produce a very real and personal account of conversations and occasions at the time. Time, "Finding the Future Queen Elizabeth in the Pages of Her Friend’s Wartime Diary," 4 May 2021 The 18-year-old’s family friends in the Las Vegas area started a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses from the very rare vaccine reaction. Susan Decker, Fortune, "Some Americans who have reported vaccine side effects hope the U.S. will cover their medical costs," 3 May 2021 He and a friend who helped find the bug put a portion of the money toward a GoFundMe account that eventually topped $31,000. Brian Barrett, Wired, "Security News This Week: A Ransomware Group Hit the DC Police—Then Pivoted to Extortion," 1 May 2021 After that introductory moment, the book’s opening act looks back to 20th-century precedent and context, including a good account of Massachusetts’s 2006 passage of a health law that became, in large part, an ACA role model. Washington Post, "A blow-by-blow history of the Obamacare wars," 30 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Although athletes have means to take care of their physical bodies, but that doesn’t account for the mental side. Sara Tidwell,, "How the Connecticut Sun players mentally deal with the grueling schedule of playing in the WNBA and overseas," 6 May 2021 Sadly, the 60% of Americans who call the New Heartland (Midwest, Southwest, Southeast) home have become accustomed to ads that just don’t account for their culture or lifestyle. Paul Jankowski, Forbes, "Jockey’s New Spot Featuring Luke Bryan Checks All The Heartland Boxes," 6 May 2021 Now, the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit says the previous restitution did not account for federal labor laws entitling Smith to $546,000 total. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Black man enslaved by White manager should receive more than $500,000 in restitution, court says," 5 May 2021 Figures collected by the Illinois Community College Board on the 10th day of classes show greater losses but don’t account for students continuing to register for late-start programs, Morris said. Elyssa Cherney,, "More bad news for higher education: Illinois community college enrollment plummets as COVID-19 sidelines would-be students," 5 May 2021 The proposal, released late last week, does not account for incoming funding as part of federal rescue plans, which will be used for technology, staff training, sanitation supplies and protective equipment. Rory Linnane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "MPS budget proposal, buoyed by referendum, expands programs while enrollment declines," 4 May 2021 These numbers also do not account for Michigan residents who spend winter months in Florida or other states and may have received a vaccine in that state before returning home for the summer. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan has no idea how many residents got their COVID-19 vaccine in other states," 4 May 2021 The principled pursuit of free trade above all else does not account for this more hardheaded reality, which is one of the reasons why views seem to be changing. Ganesh Sitaraman, The New Republic, "The Coming Revolution in the American Economy," 29 Apr. 2021 The state had 2,563 emergency shelter beds as of its August 2020 report on homelessness, although that figure doesn’t account for permanent supportive housing, transitional housing or rapid rehousing. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah won’t need a new homeless shelter if it can speed up getting people into housing, new coordinator says," 29 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

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"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about account

Time Traveler for account

Time Traveler

The first known use of account was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for account

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Account.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for account



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



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

formal : 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.



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

Comments on account

What made you want to look up account? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!