- to have to provide an explanation for (something)
- to have an accountability to answer
- to be responsible for or assign responsibility to someone or thing
- to be able to provide a satisfactory record for something, which is mostly relating to money
- The horrible weather accounted for more than 20 percent absenteeism at work today.
- I could not account for the additional expenses at the wedding even though I added every guest's stay as well as sight-seeing.
- It is important that you are bale to account for your expenditure properly to the HR department otherwise you will not be reimbursed for them.
- When I was living with my parents I was required to account for every day and penny that I spent.
- I cannot account for the cash that he spent. You will have to check that with him.
The origin, although only a speculation, comes from the 18t century. To "account for" literary refers to being able to note something in the books of accounts and to this day is used for money rather than anything else. The bookkeepers were once required to account for every transaction, which remains the responsibility of account keepers towards the owners of assets / businesses.