calculate

verb

cal·​cu·​late ˈkal-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce calculate (audio)
calculated; calculating

transitive verb

1
a
: to determine by mathematical processes
calculate the rate of acceleration
b
: to reckon by exercise of practical judgment : estimate
calculate the likelihood of success
c
: to solve or probe the meaning of : figure out
trying to calculate his expressionHugh MacLennan
2
: to design or adapt for a purpose
he carefully calculated the timing of his arrival for maximum impact
3
a
: to judge to be true or probable
b
: intend
I calculate to do it or perish in the attemptMark Twain

intransitive verb

1
a
: to make a calculation
b
: to forecast consequences
2
: count, rely

Examples of calculate in a Sentence

calculate the volume of a cylinder I need to calculate how long it will take me to drive to Chicago. We calculated the cost of new carpeting for the whole house. We need to calculate our chances of success before we invest more money in the business.
Recent Examples on the Web The losses are calculated based on the numbers of fish that are collected — scooped from the water in a bucket-like device at the state facility — then transported by truck and released into the delta nearby. Ian James, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2024 The map changed because of how Irwin and others have calculated the size of the Sun, which might be slightly larger than what scientists thought. Marina Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 7 Apr. 2024 Rather than calculating the exact moment that the eclipse begins and ends for thousands of locations, our simulation uses these coordinates to create a realtime 3D simulation with the same type of computer programming that is common in video games. Chris Wilson, TIME, 6 Apr. 2024 Some devices, such as Apple or Garmin watches or other fitness trackers, will also calculate your max heart rates (and thus your zones) based on performance data from your exercise sessions. Cindy Kuzma, SELF, 6 Apr. 2024 In addition to transactions, price increases for luxury homes were also calculated in Pacaso’s study. Michael Kolomatsky, New York Times, 4 Apr. 2024 In short, the map changed because of how Irwin and others have calculated the size of the Sun, which might be slightly larger than what scientists thought. John Tufts, The Indianapolis Star, 3 Apr. 2024 The report tracked the impacts of climate policies on state transportation funding by calculating revenue losses based on the Air Resources Board 2022 scoping plan, which set a sweeping policy framework to achieve decarbonization across polluting sectors. Ari Plachta, Sacramento Bee, 1 Apr. 2024 Because of a long-ago false theory about differences in creatinine levels, many lab reports until recently often would list two results - one calculated for non-Black patients and another for Black patients that could overestimate kidney function by as much as 16%. CBS News, 1 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'calculate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Latin calculatus, past participle of calculare, from calculus pebble (used in reckoning), perhaps irregular diminutive of calc-, calx lime — more at chalk

First Known Use

1542, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of calculate was in 1542

Dictionary Entries Near calculate

Cite this Entry

“Calculate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/calculate. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

calculate

verb
cal·​cu·​late ˈkal-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce calculate (audio)
calculated; calculating
1
: to find by performing mathematical operations (as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) : compute
calculate the average
2
: estimate entry 1 sense 1
calculate the risk of losing
3
: to plan by careful thought
a program calculated to succeed
Etymology

from Latin calculatus "calculate," derived from calculus "pebble (used in counting)," from calc-, calx "stone used in gambling, lime" — related to calcium, chalk

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