Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

To give a reason or excuse for something - synonyms or related words



to give a reason for something that happens, especially when this is not easy to understand



to give reasons why you believe that something is right or true



to provide a reason or explanation for something bad that someone has done, in order to make it seem less bad

answer to

to have to explain to someone why you did something

account for

to give an explanation for something bad that has happened, especially something that you are responsible for



to mention something as an excuse for doing or not doing something



to explain your actions to someone who has accused you of something

explain yourself

to tell someone who is angry with you why you did something

put down to

if you put something down to a particular reason, you think it has happened for that reason

explain away

to tell someone about something in a way that makes them think it is unimportant, so that they do not ask questions about it

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play