Definition of calculate
1a : 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 expression — Hugh MacLennan>
2 : to design or adapt for a purpose <he carefully calculated the timing of his arrival for maximum impact>
3a : to judge to be true or probableb : intend <I calculate to do it or perish in the attempt — Mark Twain>
1a : to make a calculationb : to forecast consequences
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.
Origin and Etymology of calculate
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
CALCULATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of calculate for English Language Learners
: to find (a number, answer, etc.) by using mathematical processes
: to get a general idea about the value, size, or cost of (something)
CALCULATE Defined for Kids
Definition of calculate for Students
History for calculate
In Latin the word calculus meant “pebble.” Because the Romans used pebbles to do addition and subtraction on a counting board, the word became associated with computation, and the phrase ponere calculos, literally, “to place pebbles,” was used to mean “to carry out a computation.” Latin words coming from calculus include calculator, “person able to do arithmetic,” and calculare, “to reckon,” from which we get the word calculate.
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