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account (to sb) for sth

phrasal verb with account uk   /əˈkaʊnt/ us   /əˈkaʊnt/ verb [T + obj + noun/adj ] formal
C2 to explain the reason for something or the cause of something: Can you account for your absence last Friday? She was unable to account for over $5,000 (= she could not explain where the money was). He has to account to his manager for (= tell his manager about and explain) all his movements.

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(Definition of account (to sb) for sth from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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