account for

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

account for (phrasal verb)

  1. (transitive) To explain by relating circumstances; to show that some one, thing or members of a group are present or have been processed.
    I don't have to account for anything to you.
    The storekeeper was expected to account for any material removed.
    • a. 1905, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Dancing Men”, in The Return of Sherlock Holmes, W. R. Caldwell & Co. (1905), page 78:
      [] 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.”
  2. (transitive) To be the primary cause of
    The torrential downpour would account for the saturated state of the land.
  3. (transitive) To constitute in amount or portion.
    German speakers accounted for 37% of the population.
    • 1992 Nov 15, “Scientists monitoring return of wolves to Upper Pennisula”, Chicago Tribune:
      ... and car strikes account for more than 50000, it's obvious the wolves' effect on the state's deer herd is so small as to be meaningless.
  4. (transitive) To make or render a reckoning of funds, persons, or things.
  5. (transitive) To be answerable for.
  6. (transitive) To destroy or put out of action.
    Coyotes account for more rabbits than hunters do.
    • 1942 Oct 11, “Check of Fortress, Liberator Raid At Lille Reveals High Enemy Loss”, Hartford Courant:
      Allied Air Forces Account for 34 Axis Aircraft
    • 1972 Feb 22, “Jet Missile Downs Mig In Dogfight”, The Bulletin:
      South Vietnamese counter-attacks helped account for 239 guerrillas reported killed in the 24 hours ending at 6 today, 86 of them in allied air attacks

Translations[edit]