account for
  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.
    • ante 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.
  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.
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