- 1 to be the explanation or cause of something synonym explain The poor weather may have accounted for the small crowd. Oh well, that accounts for it (= I understand now why it happened). The differences in achievement between the pupils are partly accounted for by differences in age. See related entries: Experiments and research
- 2 to give an explanation of something synonym explain How do you account for the show's success? He was unable to account for the error. The increase can be fully accounted for.
- 3 to be a particular amount or part of something The Japanese market accounts for 35% of the company's revenue. Language BankproportionDescribing fractions and proportions According to this pie chart, a third of students’ leisure time is spent watching TV. One in five hours is/are spent socializing. Socializing accounts for/makes up/comprises about 20% of leisure time. Students spend twice as much time playing computer games as doing sport. Three times as many hours are spent playing computer games as reading. The figure for playing computer games is three times higher than the figure for reading. The largest proportion of time is spent playing computer games.