• Account


    • US IPA: /ə.ˈkaʊnt/
    • Rhymes: -aʊnt
    • Hyphenation: ac + count

    Origin 1

    • First attested around 1300. ((reckoning of moneys received and paid))
    • (banking) First attested in 1833.
    • (narration) First attested in the 1610's.
    • From Middle English, from Anglo-Norman acunte ("account"), from Old French acont, from aconter ("to reckon"), from Latin computo ("to sum up")




    (plural accounts)
    1. (accounting) A registry of pecuniary transactions; a written or printed statement of business dealings or debts and credits, and also of other things subjected to a reckoning or review
    2. (banking) A sum of money deposited at a bank and subject to withdrawal.to keep one's account at the bank.
    3. A statement in general of reasons, causes, grounds, etc., explanatory of some event; a reason of an action to be done.
      • 2012-01, Stephen Ledoux, Behaviorism at 100, Becoming more aware of the progress that scientists have made on behavioral fronts can reduce the risk that other natural scientists will resort to mystical agential accounts when they exceed the limits of their own disciplinary training.
    4. No satisfactory account has been given of these phenomena.
    5. A reason, grounds, consideration, motive.on no accounton every accounton all accounts
      • Joyce Ulysses Episode 16...who evidently a glutton for work, it struck him, was having a quiet forty winks for all intents and purposes on his own private account while Dublin slept.
    6. (business) A business relationship involving the exchange of money and credit.
    7. A record of events; recital of transactions; a relation or narrative; a report; a descriptionAn account of a battle.
      • unknown date A laudable account of the city of London. - Howell
    8. A statement explaining one's conduct.
      • unknown date Give an account of thy stewardship. - Luke 16:2
    9. An estimate or estimation; valuation; judgment.
      • unknown date To stand high in your account - Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, III-ii
    10. Importance; worth; value; esteem; judgement.
      • unknown date Men of account - Alexander Pope
      • unknown date To turn to account - Shakespeare
    11. An authorization to use a service.I've opened an account with Wikipedia so that I can contribute and partake in the project.
    12. (archaic) A reckoning; computation; calculation; enumeration; a record of some reckoning.
    13. Profit; advantage.

    Usage notes

    of Account, narrative, narration, recital. These words are applied to different modes of rehearsing a series of events

    Account turns attention not so much to the speaker as to the fact related, and more properly applies to the report of some single event, or a group of incidents taken as whole; as, an account of a battle, of a shipwreck, etc.

    A narrative is a continuous story of connected incidents, such as one friend might tell to another; as, a narrative of the events of a siege, a narrative of one's life, etc.

    Narration is usually the same as narrative, but is sometimes used to describe the mode of relating events; as, his powers of narration are uncommonly great.

    Recital denotes a series of events drawn out into minute particulars, usually expressing something which peculiarly interests the feelings of the speaker; as, the recital of one's wrongs, disappointments, sufferings, etc.


    Derived terms

    Non-financial terms

    Origin 2

    From Anglo-Norman acounter, accomptere et al., Middle French aconter, acompter, from a- + conter ("to count"). Compare count.

    Full definition of account


    1. to provide explanation
      1. (obsolete, transitive) To present an account of; to answer for, to justify. 14th-17th c.
      2. (intransitive, now rare) To give an account of financial transactions, money received etc. from 14th c.
      3. (transitive) To estimate, consider (something to be as described). from 14th c.
      4. (intransitive) To consider that. from 14th c.
        • 1611, Bible, Authorized (King James) Version, Hebrews XI.19:Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
      5. (intransitive) To give a satisfactory evaluation for financial transactions, money received etc. from 15th c.An officer must account with or to the treasurer for money received.
      6. (intransitive) To give a satisfactory evaluation for (one's actions, behaviour etc.); to answer for. from 16th c.We must account for the use of our opportunities.
      7. (intransitive) To give a satisfactory reason for; to explain. from 16th c.Idleness accounts for poverty.
      8. (intransitive) To establish the location for someone. from 19th c.After the crash, not all passengers were accounted for.
      9. (intransitive) To cause the death, capture, or destruction of someone or something (+ for). from 19th c.
      10. to count
        1. (transitive, now rare) To calculate, work out (especially with periods of time). from 14th c.
          • 1646, Sir Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica:neither the motion of the Moon, whereby moneths are computed; nor of the Sun, whereby years are accounted, consisteth of whole numbers, but admits of fractions, and broken parts, as we have already declared concerning the Moon.
        2. (obsolete) To count (up), enumerate. 14th-17th c.
        3. (obsolete) To recount, relate (a narrative etc.). 14th-16th c.
          • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.6:Long worke it were
            Here to account the endlesse progeny
            Of all the weeds that bud and blossome there ....

    Derived terms

    terms derived from account (verb)
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