Consider the following template:
A accounts for B.
Let A and B be “the bad weather” and “the delay.”
The bad weather accounts for the delay.
It roughly means that the bad weather was responsible for or caused the delay, and it is according to the first definition in Oxford Learner’s Dictionary.
Now let A and B be “the plan” and “bad weather”:
The plan accounts for bad weather.
Intuitively, it means that the plan takes the possibility of bad weather into consideration. However, I cannot find a definition in Oxford Learner’s Dictionary that would fit this interpretation. I would be grateful if somebody could provide a reference for it.
Thanks to ColleenV, one instance of the to-take-into-consideration-or-account meaning has been found. It’s in Merriam-Webster at the very bottom on the page about account.
1 : to take into consideration. She didn’t account for extra costs.
They also have a page about account for, but there is nothing mentioned there.
ColleenV also pointed at OneLook, which aggregates definitions from multiple dictionaries. I’ve gone through all of them and haven’t found any other trace of this particular meaning.
My question is now, isn’t it suspicious that this definition appears only in one dictionary where it’s almost hidden? Does anybody have another reliable reference that clearly states that to account for means to take into consideration/account?