Definition of call (or bring) someone to account in US English:

call (or bring) someone to account


  • Require someone to explain a mistake or poor performance.

    • ‘His audience must decide whether these claims are credible and whether to endorse him or call him to account.’
    • ‘She will not be buried until somebody is brought to account for what happened.’
    • ‘Second, if you violate that trust, you will be called to account, no matter how powerful, no matter how wealthy.’
    • ‘After that you did not even bring him to account, other than that he ‘made a mistake’, after which everything passed with no punishment.’
    • ‘It's time that he was called to account for his acts of aggression.’
    • ‘It is interesting that they are not called to account for this startling performance.’
    • ‘At least with the politicians you know where they stand, you can call them to account, you can go and see them and they can't hide.’
    • ‘You could argue that the mechanisms have worked, they have been called to account and found lacking.’
    • ‘It was the bloggers, invoking their own standards - not a code but an evolving culture - that called them to account.’
    • ‘He said the case was a clear warning to people offering alternative medicine and ‘miracle cures’ that they will be called to account.’
    • ‘The State was called to account at an international meeting, but they did not attend.’
    • ‘So now the time has come to call them to account: Judgment Day has arrived for the judges.’
    • ‘It is past time that the Star Tribune is called to account.’
    • ‘Much more effective, she says, is to gather intelligence about the drugs masterminds - then bring them to account before the courts themselves.’
    • ‘Members would work closely with other organisations and call them to account if they did not meet the needs of local people.’
    • ‘They could call me to account when my actions didn't match my professed beliefs.’
    • ‘If any pharmacist has breached the law they will be called to account.’
    • ‘The journalists dared not transmit anything for which they might be called to account later.’
    • ‘What is more, there is no powerful outside force that can call us to account - the change will have to come from within.’
    • ‘Once upon a time making an oath meant that we acknowledged a higher power was witnessing our statement, and stood ready to call us to account.’
    scold, chastise, upbraid, berate, castigate, lambaste, rebuke, reprimand, reproach, reprove, admonish, remonstrate with, lecture, criticize, censure
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