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 That tracks with the roughly 90,000 hours author Jessica Pryce-Jones calculated in her 2010 book Happiness at Work. Trey Williams, Fortune, 21 Apr. 2024 The group calculated that the extra revenue added $125 million to the coffers of local taxing agencies, and saved the average Fort Worth property owner about $709 in taxes. Harrison Mantas, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 21 Apr. 2024 Munn's lifesaving diagnosis was due to her ob-gyn’s decision to calculate her lifetime breast cancer risk score during a routing Pap smear using a free online tool called a Tyrer-Cuzick risk assessment calculator. Catherine Santino, Peoplemag, 20 Apr. 2024 An Israeli airstrike on Iran on Friday damaged an air defense system, according to Western and Iranian officials, in an attack calculated to deliver a message that Israel could bypass Iran’s defensive systems undetected and paralyze them. Luis Ferré-Sadurní, New York Times, 20 Apr. 2024 The researchers calculated participants’ biological ages by analyzing nine biomarkers found in the blood: albumin, alkaline phosphatase, creatinine, C-reactive protein, glucose, mean corpuscular volume, red cell distribution width, white blood cell count, and lymphocyte proportion. Maggie O'Neill, Health, 18 Apr. 2024 The world's poorest countries will suffer 61% bigger income loss than the richest ones, the study calculated. Seth Borenstein, Quartz, 17 Apr. 2024 China’s year to date box office is now $2.55 billion, which Artisan Gateway calculates as 6% ahead of last year. Patrick Frater, Variety, 15 Apr. 2024 In a preprint that has not yet been peer reviewed, the Jefferson Lab team calculated that this radius may be about 25 percent smaller than the charge radius, just 0.6 femtometers. Charlie Wood, WIRED, 14 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 24 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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