calculate

verb
cal·cu·late | \ ˈkal-kyə-ˌlāt \
calculated; calculating

Definition of calculate 

transitive verb

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 probable

b : intend I calculate to do it or perish in the attempt —Mark Twain

intransitive verb

1a : to make a calculation

b : to forecast consequences

2 : count, rely

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for calculate

Synonyms

cipher, compute, figure, reckon, work out

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The mayor’s spokesman, Craig Gustafson, said city officials have not calculated any updated estimates of the city’s potential liability if the pension cuts are overturned. David Garrick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "If state Supreme Court rules against San Diego on pensions, it could could cost city millions," 14 July 2018 The Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks displayed the campaign's private communications, including deliberations about messaging that played into attacks that Clinton was calculating and a political flip-flopper. CBS News, "Trump responds to Russian hacking indictment by blaming Obama administration," 14 July 2018 Analysts at Moody’s Investors Service in 2013 stopped using the pension liability estimates government actuaries had signed off on and began calculating the debts themselves. Heather Gillers, WSJ, "Jeremy Gold Shook Up Pension World With Warnings About Risks," 13 July 2018 His book is full of humorous anecdotes and observations calculated to keep operatic neophytes interested. Monitor Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "10 best books of July: the Monitor's picks," 12 July 2018 Flyvbjerg theorized that some important elements of risk were not being calculated into the original planning of many projects around the world. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Here's why Detroit development takes so long," 11 July 2018 While having someone calculate the chances of the Royals' reaching 120 losses may seem sad for Royals fans, there is actually good news in this article. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Royals have slight chance to reach modern-day record for losses, says FanGraphs writer," 10 July 2018 But the fickle nature and uncertain authorship of boom times explain why historians generally don’t focus much on the economy when calculating their presidential rankings. Neil Swidey, BostonGlobe.com, "How Democrats would be better off if Bill Clinton had never been president," 10 July 2018 The number of families arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol dropped 4.6% from May to June, if calculating based on the average of those historically apprehended during these months. Sarah Kinosian, Teen Vogue, "Reunification Proves Complicated for Families Separated at the U.S.-Mexico Border," 14 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'calculate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of calculate

1542, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for calculate

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about calculate

Statistics for calculate

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for calculate

The first known use of calculate was in 1542

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for calculate

calculate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of calculate

: to find (a number, answer, etc.) by using mathematical processes

: to get a general idea about the value, size, or cost of (something)

calculate

verb
cal·cu·late | \ ˈkal-kyə-ˌlāt \
calculated; calculating

Kids Definition of calculate

1 : to find by adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing : compute calculate an average

2 : estimate entry 1 She calculated the risk.

3 : to plan by careful thought : intend Her remark was calculated to shock her listeners.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on calculate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!