hold to account

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hold to account (third-person singular simple present holds to account, present participle holding to account, simple past and past participle held to account)

  1. (transitive) To require a person to explain or to accept responsibility for his or her actions; to blame or punish someone for what has occurred.
    • 1906, Richard Harding Davis, chapter 1, in Soldiers of Fortune:
      [W]hatever they decided to do out there in the wilderness meant thousands of dollars to the stockholders somewhere up in God's country, who would some day hold them to account.
    • 1909, William MacLeod Raine, chapter 18, in Ridgway of Montana:
      While Harley had been in no way responsible for Pelton's murderous attack upon Yesler, public opinion held him to account.
    • 1996 December 21, Alessandra Stanley, “Patriarchal Yeltsin Says He's Eager to Get Back to Work”, in New York Times, retrieved 23 July 2012:
      [H]e issued stern warnings to tax evaders and lazy bureaucrats that he would hold them to account.
    • 2004 November 15, Andrew Sullivan, “Essay: 2004 Election: Let's Have a Truce”, in Time:
      I believed it was vital to hold him to account for his obvious failings.
    • 2021 May 19, “Network News: Council to monitor HS2 concrete plant”, in RAIL, number 931, page 22:
      He said the council would use all its powers to hold both HS2 and its contractors to account.