explain oneself

Idioms & Phrases

explain oneself

  1. Clarify what one has said or done, as in If you have a few minutes, I'll try to explain myself. [First half of 1600s]

  2. Demand or give an explanation or excuse for something wrong one has done. For example, You're three hours latecan you explain yourself?

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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