account for

account for
1. be the reason or explanation for (Freq. 24)

The recession accounts for the slow retail business

Hypernyms: ↑be
Verb Frames:

Something ——s something

2. give reasons for (Freq. 6)

Can you account for all these absences?

Hypernyms: ↑explain, ↑explicate
Verb Frames:

Somebody ——s something


Something ——s something

* * *

1) give a satisfactory record of (something, typically money, that one is responsible for)
provide or serve as a satisfactory explanation or reason for

he was brought before the Board to account for his behavior

usu. be accounted for know the fate or whereabouts of (someone or something), esp. after an accident

everyone was accounted for after the floods

succeed in killing, destroying, or defeating

a mishit drive accounted for Jones, who had scored 32

2) supply or make up a specified amount or proportion of

social security accounts for about a third of total public spending

* * *

account for [phrasal verb]
1 account for (something)
1 a : to give a reason or explanation for (something)

Eventually, you will need to account for your actions/behavior.

How do you account for [=explain] your success?

◇ The informal saying there's no accounting for taste means that there is no way to understand why some people like something while other people do not.

I don't see why they liked the movie, but there's no accounting for taste.

1 b : to be the cause of (something)

The disease accounted for over 10,000 deaths last year.

These new features account for the computer's higher price.

The disease cannot be accounted for [=explained] by genetics alone. There must be other causes as well.

1 c : to make up or form (a part of something)

Women account for [=constitute, compose] only 25 percent of our employees.

1 d US : to think about (something) before doing something : to take (something) into consideration

The researchers failed to account for the fact that most of the students were poor.

2 account for (someone or something)
2 a : to show what happened to (someone or something)

We have to account for the time [=to say how much time] we spend on each activity.

I'll have to account for the money I spent.

: to know the location of (someone or something)

The government couldn't account for millions of dollars of the taxpayers' money.

Is everyone accounted for? [=do we know where everyone is?]

All present and accounted for. [=everyone who is supposed to be here is here]

2 b : to destroy or kill (someone or something)

Enemy fighters have accounted for most of our bombers, Sir.

also chiefly Brit : to defeat or beat (someone or something)

We accounted for [=dispatched] the challengers 3‒2.

• • •
Main Entry:account

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • account for — [v] offer reason, explanation answer for, clarify, elucidate, explain, illuminate, justify, rationalize, resolve; concept 57 Ant. underestimate …   New thesaurus

  • account for — phrasal verb [transitive] Word forms account for : present tense I/you/we/they account for he/she/it accounts for present participle accounting for past tense accounted for past participle accounted for 1) account for something to be the reason… …   English dictionary

  • account for — 1) PHRASAL VERB If a particular thing accounts for a part or proportion of something, that part or proportion consists of that thing, or is used or produced by it. [V P n] Computers account for 5% of the country s commercial electricity… …   English dictionary

  • account for — 1) they must account for the delay Syn: explain, answer for, give reasons for, justify 2) excise duties account for over half the price Syn: constitute, make up, comprise, represent, be responsible for, produce …   Synonyms and antonyms dictionary

  • account for — 1) they must account for the delay Syn: explain, answer for, give reasons for, rationalize, justify 2) taxes account for much of the price of gasoline Syn: constitute, make up, form, compose, represent …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • account for — phr verb Account for is used with these nouns as the subject: ↑export, ↑import, ↑sale Account for is used with these nouns as the object: ↑discrepancy, ↑fact, ↑per cent, ↑variation …   Collocations dictionary

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