I can't find the meaning of the phrase "be an account of something"! I saw it in the following text:

This is the story of the marvelous land of oz, being an account of the adventures of the outlaw who came to be known as Jack Pumpkinhead.

closed as off-topic by Hellion, Spagirl, FumbleFingers, choster, Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 10 '17 at 14:07

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  • 2
    When you wrote your question there was a sidebar which asked you to include your research; what have you done to try and find the answer? The meaning of the noun 'account' is completely standard and available from common reference sources, is it the use of 'being' that's causing issues for you? – Spagirl Aug 10 '17 at 14:03

GEdgar provides a key definition for understanding the phrase, but the phrase itself is an old-fashioned (not quite archaic) construction, not generally used even in formal writing today. The phrase as a whole should be interpreted as identifying the document/story in question as telling the story of {whatever}. Your particular example can be read as saying

“This is a story that takes place in the marvelous land of Oz. It tells of the adventures of the outlaw who became known as ‘Jack Pumpkinhead’.”


account (n)
A report or description of an event or experience

(New Oxford American Dicionary)

You should look in a dictionary before asking here!

  • Unrelated to the question or answer, but how did you format the second blockquote so that the text only appears on hover? I've never seen that before. – vpn Aug 10 '17 at 16:34
  • @vpn ... To see how anything here is formatted, click on "edit". After you look at it, click "cancel" if you are not actually doing an edit. – GEdgar Aug 10 '17 at 18:43

In the context you mentioned, "be an account of" is not a phrase. Just think of the word "account" as independently meaning a report or description:


a description of facts, conditions, or events : report, narrative. > Example: the newspaper account of the fire. Merriam-Webster-Dictionary

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