Definition of account noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//əˈkaʊnt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈkaʊnt//
    Email, Using the Internet, Banking, Online shopping
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    at bank
  1. 1  (abbreviation a/c) an arrangement that somebody has with a bank, etc. to keep money there, take some out, etc. I don't have a bank account. to have an account at/with a bank to open/close an account What's your account number please? I paid the cheque into my savings account. a joint account (= one in the name of more than one person) Wordfinderaccount, balance, bank, credit, debit, deposit, interest, loan, statement, withdrawal CollocationsFinanceIncome earn money/​cash/(informal) a fortune make money/​a fortune/(informal) a killing on the stock market acquire/​inherit/​amass wealth/​a fortune build up funds/​savings get/​receive/​leave (somebody) an inheritance/​a legacy live on a low wage/​a fixed income/​a pension get/​receive/​draw/​collect a pension depend/​be dependent on (British English) benefits/(North American English) welfare/​social securityExpenditure spend money/​your savings/(informal) a fortune on… invest/​put your savings in… throw away/​waste/ (informal) shell out money on… lose your money/​inheritance/​pension use up/ (informal) wipe out all your savings pay (in) cash use/​pay by a credit/​debit card pay by/​make out a/​write somebody a/​accept a (British English) cheque/(US English) check change/​exchange money/​currency/(British English) traveller’s cheques/(US English) traveler’s checks give/​pay/​leave (somebody) a depositBanks have/​hold/​open/​close/​freeze a bank account/​an account credit/​debit/​pay something into/​take money out of your account deposit money/​funds in your account withdraw money/​cash/£30 from an ATM, etc. (formal) make a deposit/​withdrawal find/​go to/​use (especially North American English) an ATM/(British English) a cash machine/​dispenser be in credit/​in debit/​in the black/​in the red/​overdrawnPersonal finance manage/​handle/​plan/​run/ (especially British English) sort out your finances plan/​manage/​work out/​stick to a budget offer/​extend credit (to somebody) arrange/​take out a loan/​an overdraft pay back/​repay money/​a loan/​a debt pay for something in (especially British English) instalments/(usually North American English) installmentsFinancial difficulties get into debt/​financial difficulties be short of/ (informal) be strapped for cash run out of/​owe money face/​get/ (informal) be landed with a bill for £… can’t afford the cost of…/payments/​rent fall behind with/ (especially North American English) fall behind on the mortgage/​repayments/​rent incur/​run up/​accumulate debts tackle/​reduce/​settle your debts see also budget account, checking account, current account, deposit account See related entries: Banking
  2. business records
  3. 2  [usually plural] a written record of money that is owed to a business and of money that has been paid by it to do the accounts to keep the accounts up to date the accounts department see also expense account, profit and loss account
  4. with shop/store
  5. 3(British English also credit account) (North American English also charge account) an arrangement with a shop/store or business to pay bills for goods or services at a later time, for example in regular amounts every month Put it on my account please. We have accounts with most of our suppliers. Synonymsbillaccount invoice checkThese are all words for a record of how much you owe for goods or services you have bought or used.bill a list of goods that you have bought or services that you have used, showing how much you owe; the price or cost of something:the gas billaccount an arrangement with a shop/​store or business to pay bills for goods or services at a later time, for example in regular amounts every month:Put it on my account please.invoice (rather formal) a bill for goods that somebody has bought or work that has been done for somebody:The builders sent an invoice for £250.bill or invoice?You would get a bill in a restaurant, bar or hotel; from a company that supplies you with gas, electricity, etc; or from somebody whose property you have damaged. An invoice is for goods supplied or work done as agreed between a customer and supplier.check (North American English) a piece of paper that shows how much you have to pay for the food and drinks that you have had in a restaurant:Can I have the check, please? In British English the usual word for this is bill.Patterns the bill/​invoice/​check for something to pay/​settle a(n) bill/​account/​invoice/​check to put something on the/​somebody’s bill/​account/​invoice/​check
  6. regular customer
  7. 4(business) a regular customer The agency has lost several of its most important accounts.
  8. computing
  9. 5 an arrangement that somebody has with a company that allows them to use the Internet, send and receive messages by email, etc. an Internet/email account See related entries: Email, Using the Internet, Online shopping
  10. description
  11. 6a written or spoken description of something that has happened She gave the police a full account of the incident. The diaries contained detailed accounts of the writer’s experiences in China. Synonymsreport story account versionThese are all words for a written or spoken account of events.report a written or spoken account of an event, especially one that is published or broadcast:Are these newspaper reports true?story an account, often spoken, of what happened to somebody or of how something happened; a report of events in a newspaper, magazine or news broadcast:It was many years before the full story was made public. the front-page storyaccount a written or spoken description of something that has happened:She gave the police a full account of the incident.report or account?A report is always of recent events, especially news. An account may be of recent or past events.version a description of an event from the point of view of a particular person or group of people:She gave us her version of what had happened that day.Patterns a report/​story about something a brief/​short report/​story/​account a full report/​story/​account/​version a news report/​story to give a(n) report/​account/​version
  12. 7an explanation or a description of an idea, a theory or a process the Biblical account of the creation of the world
  13. Word OriginMiddle English (in the sense ‘counting’, ‘to count’): from Old French acont (noun), aconter (verb), based on conter ‘to count’.Extra examples Call a cab on account. Can you give us an account of what happened? Charge this to my account, please. Clients are often taken for expense account lunches. Dr Richards describes this very well in his account of the events. Go and see the manager of the bank where your account is held. He gave us a blow-by-blow account of the incident. He opened an account at a bank in Germany. I have an account with another bank. I’d like to open an account, please. I’ve never been there, but it’s a beautiful place by all accounts. It is best to settle the account each month. My husband and I have separate accounts. No one sent me. I am here on my own account. Ring for a cab on account. She had taken all her money out of her account. She opened a savings account at the bank. She received a glowing account of her son’s progress. The accounts are all in order. The money will be credited to your account tomorrow. They have a numbered account in Switzerland. Try to keep accurate accounts. Your account is overdrawn. Your accounts will need to be submitted to the tax office. an account with a large store the newspaper account of the trial Departing guests should settle their accounts at the office. I don’t have a bank account. I have a savings account with a building society. I paid the cheque into my current account. She bought the furniture she wanted on account. She deposited the check in her account. The diaries contained detailed accounts of the writer’s experiences in China. What’s your account number please? a joint account to open/​close an accountIdioms
    a blow-by-blow account, description, etc. (of something)
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    (informal) a description of an event which gives you all the details in the order in which they happen He insisted on giving us a blow-by-blow account of what had happened.
    according to what other people say I've never been there, but it's a lovely place, by all accounts. according to what you say yourself By his own account he had an unhappy childhood.
    call somebody to account (for/over something)
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    to make somebody explain a mistake, etc. because they are responsible for it
    give a good/poor account of yourself
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    (British English) to do something or perform well or badly, especially in a contest The team gave a good account of themselves in the match.
    (formal) not important Emotional matters were of no account to them during the war. if you buy something or pay on account, you pay nothing or only a small amount immediately and the rest later
    on somebody’s account
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    because of what you think somebody wants Please don't change your plans on my account.
    on account of somebody/something
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     because of somebody/something She retired early on account of ill health. The marsh is an area of great scientific interest on account of its wild flowers. Language Bankbecause ofExplaining reasons The number of people with diabetes is growing, partly because of an increase in levels of obesity. The number of overweight children has increased dramatically in recent years, largely as a result of changes in diet and lifestyle. The increase in childhood obesity is largely due to/the result of changes in lifestyle and diet over the last twenty years. Many obese children are bullied at school on account of their weight. Part of the problem with treating childhood obesity stems from the fact that parents do not always recognize that their children are obese. Childhood obesity may be caused by genetic factors, as well as environmental ones.
    on no account, not on any account
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    (used to emphasize something) not for any reason On no account should the house be left unlocked.
    1. 1for yourself In 2012 Smith set up in business on his own account.
    2. 2because you want to and you have decided, not somebody else No one sent me. I am here on my own account.
    (formal) because of the particular thing that has been mentioned Weather conditions were poor, but he did not delay his departure on that account.
    put/turn something to good account
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    (formal) to use something in a good or helpful way He turned his artistic talents to good account by becoming a sculptor.
    settle a score/an account (with somebody), settle an old score
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    to hurt or punish somebody who has harmed or cheated you in the past ‘Who would do such a thing?’ ‘Maybe someone with an old score to settle.’
    take account of something, take something into account
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    to consider particular facts, circumstances, etc. when making a decision about something The company takes account of environmental issues wherever possible. Coursework is taken into account as well as exam results. The defendant asked for a number of other offences to be taken into account.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: account