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

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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 Parler was taken down in the weeks following the attack, but the Ohio Capital Journal found that post and others from Watkins’ account. John Caniglia, cleveland, "How an Ohio bartender’s patriotism was warped by social media and a devotion to Trump, ending in conspiracy charges from the Capitol riots," 11 Apr. 2021 His phone lit up with an Instagram notification from the team’s account. Los Angeles Times, "Renewed rivalries, life lessons and more: Photos from LAUSD football’s return," 11 Apr. 2021 Those occupancy rates don’t take into account hotels that remain closed. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Travelers slow to return to downtown Portland hotels; concerns linger over city’s reputation," 11 Apr. 2021 Even Boykins' art is available to look at on her website or Twitter account for free. Michael Dobuski, ABC News, "NFTs spark debate over digital value, environmental impact," 10 Apr. 2021 Foppoli responded over email Saturday morning, but did not address McCarthy’s account. Alexandria Bordas, San Francisco Chronicle, "Fifth woman accuses Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli of sexual assault," 10 Apr. 2021 The app can’t be used to make any changes to someone’s account or harm the phone number via a SIM swap or locking someone out. Chris Smith, BGR, "If you use this cell phone carrier, your personal data might’ve been stolen," 10 Apr. 2021 That included a $46,500 donation Ryan Fattman’s campaign made to the party on Oct. 9 — the largest single contribution the party’s state account reported receiving last year., "A senator donated $137,000 to the state GOP. The party then spent that same amount aiding his wife’s campaign," 10 Apr. 2021 The inspector general’s office, during its investigation, had contacted Nardolillo, who corroborated Schiavone’s account. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "A Cautionary Tale of Workplace Harassment in the Cuomo Administration," 10 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And those who fail at meeting it — no matter their position, age, experience or professional reputation — should be held to account. Next Avenue, Forbes, "OPINION: Why Toxic Workplace Whistleblowers Should Be Applauded," 8 Apr. 2021 According to British pollster Ipsos Mori, the majority of Britons feel the soccer player has held the U.K. government to account better than both the opposition Labour Party and the media. Shafi Musaddique, The Christian Science Monitor, "Famous for good reason? Britain elevates do-gooders to celebrities.," 15 Mar. 2021 And that is why Congress should be held to account for defending our democracy. NBC News, "Meet the Press - March 14, 2021," 14 Mar. 2021 Every Democratic candidate should be held to account for the party’s unanimous opposition to even modest improvements in the legislation. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Dems Nix GOP Spending-Bill Improvements," 10 Mar. 2021 For example, Fleetsmith, the Mac device-management product recently acquired by Apple, treats a company’s Google or O365 account as the source of truth for their list of users—versus deciding to build an employee directory from scratch. Abhishek Agrawal, Fortune, "To fix the cybersecurity talent shortage, we need smarter product design," 16 Mar. 2021 As F-35s account for a greater proportion of the JASDF fighter fleet, the number of planes Tokyo can count on for ADIZ patrols could drop by half. David Axe, Forbes, "Japan Has A New Air-Defense Plan—Ignore Chinese Planes," 5 Mar. 2021 Tax revenue from fossil fuels account for at least half the state’s entire budget. New York Times, "Carbon County, Wyoming, Knows Which Way the Wind Is Blowing," 3 Mar. 2021 There are two perks that come with linking your Marriott Bonvoy account to Eat Around Town. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "Marriott Bonvoy Members Can Now Earn Points for Eating at Their Favorite Restaurants — Here’s How," 26 Feb. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for account

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for account

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Account.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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

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