give an account

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Also found in: Legal.

give an account (of someone or something) (to someone)

 and give someone an account of someone or something
to tell a narrative about someone or something to someone. You are going to have to give an account of yourself to your parole officer. Please give an account of your day to my secretary. Give me an account of every minute.
See also: account, give
References in classic literature ?
When a woman debauched from her youth, nay, even being the offspring of debauchery and vice, comes to give an account of all her vicious practices, and even to descend to the particular occasions and circumstances by which she ran through in threescore years, an author must be hard put to it wrap it up so clean as not to give room, especially for vicious readers, to turn it to his disadvantage.
To give an account of one's reading is in some sort to give an account of one's life; and I hope that I shall not offend those who follow me in these papers, if I cannot help speaking of myself in speaking of the authors I must call my masters: my masters not because they taught me this or that directly, but because I had such delight in them that I could not fail to teach myself from them whatever I was capable of learning.
My wife and one of my children would wear the native costume, we would display some specimens of Syrian handiwork, and give an account of our educational methods with the children.
Then a small gentleman, very young-looking but very malignant, began to say that it would probably be agreeable to the marshal of the province to give an account of his expenditures of the public moneys, and that the misplaced delicacy of the members of the committee was depriving him of this moral satisfaction.
There was a great deal of bargaining, of running up and beating down; and if a horse may speak his mind so far as he understands, I should say there were more lies told and more trickery at that horse fair than a clever man could give an account of.
If I was in a separate room any considerable length of time, I was sure to be suspected of having a book, and was at once called to give an account of myself.
Advance, and give an account of what you are doing here at this hour.
And assuredly no one will argue that there is any other method of comprehending by any regular process all true existence or of ascertaining what each thing is in its own nature; for the arts in general are concerned with the desires or opinions of men, or are cultivated with a view to production and construction, or for the preservation of such productions and constructions; and as to the mathematical sciences which, as we were saying, have some apprehension of true being--geometry and the like-- they only dream about being, but never can they behold the waking reality so long as they leave the hypotheses which they use unexamined, and are unable to give an account of them.
Global AIDS Policy, draws from more than 200 interviews, especially with key political insiders, policymakers and thinkers, to give an account of the red tape that has allowed America to hobble along in its steps to addressing the AIDS crisis.
Question: An appropriate anthropology [study of man] is needed fore that takes all this into consideration and that can give an account of the human being in his entirety.
They claimed following the meeting that Mr Mitchell had refused to give an account of his altercation with officers at the gates of Downing Street in the previous month.
Mr Conway was asked to give an account of his experience of the impact the decent homes standard has had on Blyth Valley.
It is time for them to give the answers, but instead they are asking me to give an account of my work.