hold to account
- (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 Dec. 21, Alessandra Stanley, "Patriarchal Yeltsin Says He's Eager to Get Back to Work," 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 Nov. 15, Andrew Sullivan, "Essay: 2004 Election: Let's Have a Truce," Time:
- I believed it was vital to hold him to account for his obvious failings.
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