A Dictionary of the English Language
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Account (noun)

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Acco'unt. n.s. [from the old French accompt, from compactus, Lat. originally written accompt, which see; but, by gradually softening the pronunciation, in time the orthography changed to account.]

  1. A computation of debts or expences; a register of facts relating to money.

    At many times I brought in my accounts,
    Laid them before you; you would throw them off.
    And say you found them in mine honesty.
    Shakesp. Timon.

    When my young master has once got the skill of keeping accounts (which is a business of reason more than arithmetic) perhaps it will not be amiss, that his father from thenceforth require him to do it in all his concernments. Locke on Education.

  2. The state or result of a computation; as, the account stands thus between us.

    Behold this I have found, saith the Preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account. Ecclesiasticus, vii. 27.

  3. Such a state of persons or things, as may make them more or less worthy of being considered in the reckoning. Value, or estimation.

    For the care that they took for their wives and their children, their brethren and kinsfolks, was in least account with them: but the greatest and principal fear was for the holy temple. 2 Maccab. xv. 18.

    That good affection, which things of smaller account have once set on work, is by so much the more easily raised higher. Hooker, b. v. § 35.

    I should make more account of their judgment, who are men of sense, and yet have never touched a pencil, than of the opinion given by the greatest part of painters. Dryden's Dufresn.

    We would establish our souls in such a solid and substantial virtue, as will turn to account in that great day, when it must stand the test of infinite wisdom and justice. Add. Spect. № 399.

  4. Distinction, dignity, rank.

    There is such a peculiarity in Homer's manner of apostrophizing Eumæus, and speaking of him in the second person: it is generally applied, by that poet, only to men of account and distinction. Pope's Odyssey; notes.

  5. A reckoning verified by finding the value of a thing equal to what it was accounted.

    Considering the usual motives of human actions, which are pleasure, profit, and ambition, I cannot yet comprehend how those persons find their account in any of the three. Swift's Address to Parliament.

  6. A reckoning referred to, or sum charged upon any particular person; and thence, figuratively, regard, consideration, sake.

    If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on my account. Philemon, i. 8.

    This must be always remembered, that nothing can come into the account of recreation, that is not done with delight. Locke on Education, § 197.

    In matters where his judgment led him to oppose men on a public account, he would do it vigorously and heartily. Atterbury's Sermons.

    The assertion is our Saviour's, though uttered by him in the person of Abraham, the father of the faithful; who, on the account of that character, is very fitly introduced. Idem.

    These tribunes, a year or two after their institution, kindled great dissensions between the nobles and the commons, on the account of Coriolanus, a nobleman, whom the latter had impeached. Swift's Contests in Athens and Rome.

    Nothing can recommend itself to our love, on any other account, but either as it promotes our present, or is a means to assure to us a future happiness. Roger's Sermons.

    Sempronius gives no thanks on this account. Addison's Cato.

  7. A narrative, relation; in this use it may seem to be derived from conte, Fr. a tale, a narration.

  8. The review or examination of an affair taken by authority; as, the magistrate took an account of the tumult.

    Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants; and when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. Matt. xix. 23, 24.

  9. The relation and reasons of a transaction given to a person in authority.

    Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afraid! What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Shakespeare's Macbeth.

    The true ground of morality can only be the will and law of a God, who sees men in the dark, has in his hands rewards and punishments, and power enough to call to account the proudest offender. Locke.

  10. Explanation; assignment of causes.

    It is easy to give account, how it comes to pass, that though all men desire happiness, yet their wills carry them so contrarily. Locke.

    It being, in our author's account, a right acquired by betting, to rule over those he had begotten, it was not a power possible to be inherited, because the right, being consequent to, and built on, an act perfectly personal, made that power so too, and impossible to be inherited. Locke.

  11. An opinion concerning things previously established.

    These were designed to join with the forces at sea, there being prepared a number of flat-bottomed boats to transport the land-forces, under the wing of the great navy: for they made no account, but that the navy should be absolutely master of the seas. Bacon's Considerations on War with Spain.

    A prodigal young fellow, that had sold his clothes, upon the sight of a swallow, made account that summer was at hand, and away went his shirt too. L'Estrange, Fable cxxvii.

  12. The reasons of any thing collected.

    Being convinced, upon all accounts, that they had the same reason to believe the history of our Saviour, as that of any other person to which they themselves were not actually eyewitnesses, they were bound, by all the rules of historical faith, and of right reason, to give credit to this history. Addison on the Christian Religion.

  13. In law.

    Account is, in the common law, taken for a writ or action brought against a man, that, by means of office or business undertaken, is to render an account unto another; as, a bailiff toward his master, a guardian to his ward. Cowell.

Sources: The Bible - 2. Maccabees (14) · Addison, Joseph (408) · Atterbury, Francis (75) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Cowell, John (42) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Ecclesiasticus (27) · Hooker, Richard (175) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · The Bible - Matthew (21) · The Bible - Philemon (6) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (32)

Attributes: French (385) · Latin (690) · Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Account (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 30, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/account-noun/.

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