Meaning of ACCOUNT in English


I. ac ‧ count 1 S1 W1 /əˈkaʊnt/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

1 . DESCRIPTION a written or spoken description that says what happens in an event or process

account of

He was too shocked to give an account of what had happened.

blow-by-blow account (=a description of all the details of an event in the order that they happened)

a blow-by-blow account of how England lost to Portugal

Chomsky’s account of how children learn their first language

eye-witness/first-hand account (=a description of events by someone who saw them)

Eye-witness accounts told of the unprovoked shooting of civilians.

This gives a first-hand account of the war.

2 . AT A BANK ( written abbreviation a/c or acct. ) an arrangement in which a bank keeps your money safe so that you can pay more in or take money out:

My salary is paid into my bank account.

I’ve opened an account with Barclay’s Bank.

My husband and I have a joint account (=one that is shared between two people) .

⇨ ↑ bank account , ↑ checking account , ↑ current account , ↑ deposit account , ↑ profit and loss account , ↑ savings account

3 . take account of something ( also take something into account ) to consider or include particular facts or details when making a decision or judgment about something:

These figures do not take account of changes in the rate of inflation.

4 . on account of something because of something else, especially a problem or difficulty:

She was told to wear flat shoes, on account of her back problem.

5 . accounts

a) [plural] an exact record of the money that a company has received and the money it has spent:

The accounts for last year showed a profit of $2 million.

b) [uncountable] a department in a company that is responsible for keeping records of the amount of money spent and received:

Eileen works in accounts.

6 . on account if you buy goods on account, you take them away with you and pay for them later

7 . WITH A SHOP/COMPANY an arrangement that you have with a shop or company, which allows you to buy goods or use a service now and pay for them later SYN credit account :

Can you charge this to my account please?

an unlimited-use Internet account

8 . BILL a statement that shows how much money you owe for things you have bought from a shop SYN bill

pay/settle your account (=pay what you owe)

James left the restaurant, settling his account by credit card.

9 . ARRANGEMENT TO SELL GOODS an arrangement to sell goods and services to another company over a period of time:

Our sales manager has secured several big accounts recently.

10 . by/from all accounts according to what a lot of people say:

It has, from all accounts, been a successful marriage.

11 . on sb’s account if you do something on someone’s account, you do it because you think they want you to:

Please don’t change your plans on my account.

12 . on your own account by yourself or for yourself:

Carrie decided to do a little research on her own account.

13 . on no account/not on any account used when saying that someone must not, for any reason, do something:

On no account must you disturb me.

14 . by sb’s own account according to what you have said, especially when you have admitted doing something wrong:

Bentley was, by his own account, over-sensitive to criticism.

15 . on that account/on this account concerning a particular situation:

There needn’t be any more worries on that account.

16 . give a good/poor account of yourself to do something or perform very well or very badly:

Kevin gave a good account of himself in today’s game.

17 . bring/call somebody to account formal to force someone who is responsible for a mistake or a crime to explain publicly why they did it and punish them for it if necessary:

The people responsible for the accident have never been brought to account.

18 . put/turn something to good account formal to use something for a good purpose:

Perhaps she could put some of her talents to good account by helping us.

19 . of no/little account formal not important:

As she grew up, her father was of no account to her.

• • •


■ verbs

▪ give an account

Marshall gave the police his account of how the fight started.

▪ provide an account

Freud has provided an account of the human psyche’s stages of development.

▪ write an account

He later wrote an account of his experiences during the war.

▪ read an account

Have you read his account of the journey?


▪ a detailed account

She gave me a detailed account of what happened at the meeting.

▪ a full account

It is not possible to give a full account of what we discussed.

▪ a short account

What follows is a short account of the legal procedure.

▪ a brief account

The class were asked to write a brief account of their holidays.

▪ a clear account

I’ve tried to write a clear account of the incident.

▪ an accurate account

Both newspapers gave fairly accurate accounts of what had happened.

▪ a true account

The book is a true account of his life and death.

▪ a blow-by-blow account (=very detailed)

Rosemary gave me a blow-by-blow account of their trip.

▪ a graphic account (=very clear with a lot of details, especially unpleasant details)

He wrote a graphic account of his time in jail.

▪ a vivid account (=so clear that it seems real or like real life)

I read a vivid account of his experiences in Egypt.

▪ an eye-witness account (=an account of an event, given by the person who saw it happen)

an eye-witness account of the attack

▪ a first-hand account (=an account of a situation, given by the person who experienced it)

a first-hand account of life in the refugee camps

▪ conflicting accounts (=different accounts of the same event, that cannot both be true)

There were conflicting accounts of what actually happened.

• • •


▪ account a written or spoken description that says what happens in an event or process:

He provided the police with a detailed account of what he saw.

▪ description something you say or write that gives details about what something or someone is like:

The report gave a brief description of the problem.

▪ story an account of something that has happened which may not be true – used especially when people are telling each other about something:

I don’t think he was honest enough to tell us the full story.


Her parents did not believe her story.

▪ report a written or spoken account of a situation or event, giving people the information they need, especially after studying something as part of your job:

The UN will issue a report on the incident.


Initial police reports suggest she was murdered.

▪ version a particular person’s account of an event, which is different from the account that another person gives:

Her version of events has been contradicted by other witnesses.

II. account 2 S3 W2 BrE AmE verb

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: acompter , from compter 'to count' ]

account for something phrasal verb

1 . to form a particular amount or part of something:

Afro-Americans account for 12% of the US population.

2 . to be the reason why something happens SYN explain :

Recent pressure at work may account for his behavior.

3 . to give a satisfactory explanation of why something has happened or why you did something SYN explain :

Can you account for your movements on that night?

4 . to say where all the members of a group of people or things are, especially because you are worried that some of them may be lost:

Three days after the earthquake, more than 150 people had still to be accounted for.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.