AskDefine | Define account

Dictionary Definition



1 a formal contractual relationship established to provide for regular banking or brokerage or business services; "he asked to see the executive who handled his account" [syn: business relationship]
2 the act of informing by verbal report; "he heard reports that they were causing trouble"; "by all accounts they were a happy couple" [syn: report]
3 a record or narrative description of past events; "a history of France"; "he gave an inaccurate account of the plot to kill the president"; "the story of exposure to lead" [syn: history, chronicle, story]
4 a short account of the news; "the report of his speech"; "the story was on the 11 o'clock news"; "the account of his speech that was given on the evening news made the governor furious" [syn: report, news report, story, write up]
5 a statement of recent transactions and the resulting balance; "they send me an accounting every month" [syn: accounting, account statement]
6 a statement that makes something comprehensible by describing the relevant structure or operation or circumstances etc.; "the explanation was very simple"; "I expected a brief account" [syn: explanation]
7 an itemized statement of money owed for goods shipped or services rendered; "he paid his bill and left"; "send me an account of what I owe" [syn: bill, invoice]
8 grounds; "don't do it on my account"; "the paper was rejected on account of its length"; "he tried to blame the victim but his success on that score was doubtful" [syn: score]
9 importance or value; "a person of considerable account"; "he predicted that although it is of small account now it will rapidly increase in importance"
10 the quality of taking advantage; "she turned her writing skills to good account"


1 be the sole or primary factor in the existence, acquisition, supply, or disposal of something; "Passing grades account for half of the grades given in this exam"
2 keep an account of [syn: calculate]
3 to give an account or representation of in words; "Discreet Italian police described it in a manner typically continental" [syn: report, describe]
4 furnish a justifying analysis or explanation; "I can't account for the missing money" [syn: answer for]

User Contributed Dictionary



Etymology 1

From Anglo-Norman acunt "account", which comes from acont, which comes from aconter.


  1. A reckoning; computation; calculation; enumeration; a record of some reckoning; as, the Julian account of time.
    • A beggarly account of empty boxes. - Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, V-i
  2. 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; as, to keep one's account at the bank.
  3. A statement in general of reasons, causes, grounds, etc., explanatory of some event; as, no satisfactory account has been given of these phenomena. Hence, the word is often used simply for reason, ground, consideration, motive, etc.; as, on no account, on every account, on all accounts.
    • A serious operation [autopsy] will be necessary before that can be done. But there are still four cartridges in the revolver. Two have been fired and two wounds inflicted, so that each bullet can be accounted for. - Doctor Watson in The Return of Sherlock Holmes
  4. A statement of facts or occurrences; recital of transactions; a relation or narrative; a report; a description; as, an account of a battle.
    • A laudable account of the city of London. - Howell
  5. A statement and explanation or vindication of one's conduct with reference to judgement thereon.
    • Give an account of thy stewardship. - Luke 16:2
  6. An estimate or estimation; valuation; judgement.
    • To stand high in your account - Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, III-ii
  7. Importance; worth; value; advantage; profit.
    • Men of account - Pope
    • To turn to account - Shakespeare
  8. A subscription to a service.
reckoning, calculation
A registry of pecuniary transactions
A statement in general of reasons, causes, grounds, etc.
A statement of facts or occurrences
A statement and explanation or vindication
A subscription to a service
Derived terms
  • account current: a running or continued account between two or more parties, or a statement of the particulars of such an account
  • in account with: in a relation requiring an account to be kept
  • on account of: for the sake of; by reason of; because of
  • on one's own account: for one's own interest or behalf
  • to make account: (Obsolete): to have an opinion or expectation; to reckon
    • This other part . . . makes account to find no slender arguments for this assertion out of those very scriptures which are commonly urged against it. - Milton
  • to make account of: to hold in estimation; to esteem; as, he makes small account of beauty
  • to take account of, or to take into account: to take into consideration; to notice
  • bank account
    • Of their doings, God takes no account. - Milton
  • a writ of account: (Law): a writ which the plaintiff brings demanding that the defendant shall render his just account, or show good cause to the contrary; -- called also an action of account - Cowell
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.

Etymology 2

From Middle English acounten, accompten, which comes from aconter, à (from ad) + conter "to count". In modern French conter to tell, compter to count, Latin computare. See count.


  1. In the context of "transitive|obsolete": To reckon; to compute; to count.
    The motion of... the sun whereby years are accounted. - Sir T. Browne
  2. In the context of "transitive|rare": To place to one's account; to put to the credit of; to assign; -- with to. - Clarendon
  3. To value, estimate, or hold in opinion; to judge or consider; to deem.
    • Accounting that God was able to raise him up. - Hebrews, 11:19
  4. In the context of "transitive|obsolete": To recount; to relate. - Chaucer
  5. To render or receive an account or relation of particulars; as, an officer must account with or to the treasurer for money received.
  6. To render an account; to answer in judgement; -- with for; as, we must account for the use of our opportunities.
  7. To give a satisfactory reason; to tell the cause of; to explain; -- with for; as, idleness accounts for poverty.
  8. to get revenge on (someone).
Derived terms
  • to account for
  • to account of: to esteem; to prize; to value. Now used only in the passive
    • I account her beauty. - Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, II-i
    • Newer was preaching more accounted of than in the sixteenth century. - Canon Robinson



  • IPA: /ə'kɑʊnt/


account ,
  1. A loanword from English that means a subscription to an electronic service.

Extensive Definition

In accountancy, an account is a label used for recording and reporting a quantity of almost anything. Most often it is a record of an amount of money owned or owed by or to a particular person or entity, or allocated to a particular purpose. It may represent amounts of money that have actually changed hands, or it may represent an estimate of the values of assets, or it may be a combination of these.

Types of accounts

  1. Asset accounts: represent the different types of economic resources owned by a business, common examples of Asset accounts are cash, cash in bank, building, inventory, prepaid rent, goodwill, accounts receivable.
  2. Liability accounts: represent the different types of economic obligations by a business, such as accounts payable, bank loan, bonds payable, accrued interest.
  3. Equity accounts: represent the residual equity of a business (after deducting from Assets all the liabilities) including Retained Earnings and Appropriations.
  4. Revenue or Income accounts: represent the company's gross earnings and common examples include Sales, Service revenue and Interest Income.
  5. Expense accounts: represent the company's expenditures to enable itself to operate. Common examples are electricity and water, rentals, depreciation, doubtful accounts, interest, insurance.
  6. Contra-accounts: from the term contra, meaning to deduct, the value of which are opposite the 5 above mentioned types of accounts. For instance, a contra-asset account is Accumulated depreciation. This label represent deductions to a relatively permanent asset like Building.
Account represents financial and non-financial transactions of a firm, to know the total outcome of the investment made by investors.
account in German: Konto
account in French: compte
account in Dutch: Grootboekrekening
account in Polish: Konto
account in Portuguese: Contas contábeis
account in Romanian: Cont_contabil
account in Chinese: 會計科目
account in Simple English: Account
account in Spanish: Cuenta
account in Swedish: Konto
account in Russian: Бухгалтерский счёт

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

a reckoning of, account current, account for, account of, account rendered, account stated, accounting, accounts, acquaintance, acta, adjudge, adjudicate, advantage, aggregate, allow, allow for, allowance, amount, anecdotage, anecdote, annals, announcement, annual, answer for, approbation, approval, assessment, balance, bank account, bank balance, be judicious, benefit, bill, bill of account, bill of fare, bill of lading, blackmail, blood money, blue book, body count, books, box score, brief, briefing, bulletin, calculation, capitulation, carte, cash account, cast, catalog, census, census report, charge account, check, check of, checking account, chronicle, communication, communique, computation, consequence, consider, consideration, control account, conversion factor, correspondence, count, count of, credit, credit account, data, datum, deem, description, difference, directory, dispatch, documentation, dun, election returns, emolument, enlightenment, enumeration, epic, epos, esteem, estimation, evidence, exercise judgment, expense account, explain, explanation, express an opinion, face, face value, facts, factual information, familiarization, favor, fee, footing, form an opinion, gen, general information, guidebook, handout, hard information, head count, history, hold, honor, hush money, importance, incidental information, income account, info, information, initiation fee, instruction, intelligence, interest, inventory, invoice, itemized bill, judge, justify, knowledge, ledger, letters, light, list, manifest, market value, memorial, mention, menu, merit, message, mileage, minutes, narration, narrative, net worth, nose count, note, notice, notification, number, par value, pennyworth, pine, pipe roll, presentation, presume, proceedings, product, profit, promotional material, proof, provision account, publication, publicity, quantity, rate, recapitulation, recital, reckoning, record, recording, recount, recounting, regard, register, registry, rehearsal, relation, release, relic, remains, repertory, report, respect, retainer, retaining fee, returns, revenue account, roll, rolls, roster, rota, running account, saga, sake, sales account, savings account, score, scot, scroll, selling account, sidelight, significance, standing, statement, stipend, stock account, story, sum, summary, summation, summing, summing up, suppose, suspense account, tab, table, tabs of, take into consideration, take note of, tale, tally, tally of, the bottom line, the dope, the goods, the know, the record, the scoop, the story, the whole story, think of, token, total, trace, track of, transactions, transmission, tribute, use, valuation account, value, value received, vestige, white book, white paper, whole, word, worth, x number, yarn, yearbook
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