hold to account
- (transitive) To require a person to explain or to accept responsibility for his or her actions; to blame or punish someone for what has occurred.
- 1906, Richard Harding Davis, chapter 1, in Soldiers of Fortune:
- [W]hatever they decided to do out there in the wilderness meant thousands of dollars to the stockholders somewhere up in God's country, who would some day hold them to account.
- 1909, William MacLeod Raine, chapter 18, in Ridgway of Montana:
- While Harley had been in no way responsible for Pelton's murderous attack upon Yesler, public opinion held him to account.
- 1996 Dec. 21, Alessandra Stanley, "Patriarchal Yeltsin Says He's Eager to Get Back to Work," New York Times (retrieved 23 July 2012):
- [H]e issued stern warnings to tax evaders and lazy bureaucrats that he would hold them to account.
- 2004 Nov. 15, Andrew Sullivan, "Essay: 2004 Election: Let's Have a Truce," Time:
- I believed it was vital to hold him to account for his obvious failings.
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