settle accounts

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settle accounts

1. To pay or receive money owed. The phrase can be used by the debtor or the debtee. I need to settle accounts with Dean now, before I owe him even more money! Thanks for settling accounts with me, I really needed the money this month.
2. To avenge a misdeed. Now that she thinks I started that rumor about her, I'm worried about how she is going to settle accounts with me. Oh, I'll use my fists to settle accounts with him after school!
See also: account, settle

settle an account

1. To pay money owed. Beware emails purporting to be from long-lost friends asking you to wire them money in order to settle an account—it's probably a scam.
2. To pay an amount of money to clear a debt with a credit institution, especially when it is less than the amount originally owed. If you find yourself with a large enough lump sum of cash, you may be able to settle an account for significantly less than what's owed, so long as you can pay the new amount in full.
3. To avenge a misdeed; to harm or punish someone who wronged one in the past. This court is not the means by which jilted lovers can settle an account, is that understood Mr. Daniels? Look, I don't have an account to settle with you or anything, so let's just let bygones be bygones, OK?
See also: account, settle

settle an account

or

settle accounts

If you settle an account or settle accounts with an enemy or opponent, you bring your fight or argument to an end by defeating them. She had an account to settle with her family. He told me to give up my desire to settle accounts with the person who had injured me. Note: The verb square is sometimes used instead of settle. The team was determined to square the account in this match.
See also: account, settle

settle (or square) accounts with someone

1 pay money owed to someone. 2 have revenge on someone.
See also: account, settle, someone