Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

abacus

play
noun aba·cus \ˈa-bə-kəs, ə-ˈba-\

Simple Definition of abacus

  • : a device used for counting and calculating by sliding small balls or beads along rods or in grooves

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of abacus

plural abaci play \ˈa-bə-ˌsī, -ˌkē; ə-ˈba-ˌkī\ or abacuses

  1. 1 :  an instrument for performing calculations by sliding counters along rods or in grooves

  2. 2 :  a slab that forms the uppermost member or division of the capital of a column

Illustration of abacus

Origin of abacus

Latin, from Greek abak-, abax, literally, slab


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms


ABACUS Defined for Kids

abacus

play
noun aba·cus \ˈa-bə-kəs\

Definition of abacus for Students

plural abaci \ˈa-bə-ˌsī\ or abacuses

  1. :  an instrument for doing arithmetic by sliding counters along rods or in grooves





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up abacus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to eat gluttonously or ravenously

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

maudlin prompt angry oily
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ