cal·​cu·​late | \ ˈkal-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce calculate (audio) \
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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The metric factors in Air Distance, Air Yards, Receiver Separation and also leverages other metrics such as receiver distance from sideline to calculate the probability of a catch. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "Colts TE Eric Ebron regains his form, pulls off highlight-reel touchdown catch," 20 Oct. 2019 When Jesse falls $1,800 short of the bill, Ed rebuffs him, Jesse refuses to leave, and Ed calls call 911, which Jesse wrongly calculates as a bluff. Dan Snierson,, "Vince Gilligan pays tribute to Robert Forster and how he did big little things in El Camino," 15 Oct. 2019 According to Dreshare, Lana's net worth sits at around $2 million and her 2019 numbers haven't even been calculated yet. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Lana Condor's Net Worth Might Even Make Lara Jean Covey Jealous," 17 Sep. 2019 The analysis calculated the percentage of residents with a disability., "Of small communities across 11 states, more than 500 have a higher wildfire hazard potential than Paradise, Calif.," 23 July 2019 The news organizations’ analysis calculated the grades private and parochial schools would receive based on the test scores of their voucher students. Kim Chatelain,, "Edwards vows to push for changes to Louisiana voucher program after news investigation reveals flaws," 18 June 2019 Our web site calculates postage based on the total weight of the books and the delivery address. The Reader's Catalog, "Frequently Asked Questions," 17 June 2019 If pieces of that formation are found on different plates, researchers can measure the distance between them and, using their age, calculate the speed of the split. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Plate Tectonics: The Slow Dance of Our Planet's Crust," 12 June 2019 This piece pulls back the curtain on those who strategically decide which kids to admit and calculate how much each must pay. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: From ‘locked and loaded’ to ‘no rush’," 17 Sep. 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for calculate

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for calculate

The first known use of calculate was in 1542

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More Definitions for calculate


How to pronounce calculate (audio)

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)


cal·​cu·​late | \ ˈkal-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce calculate (audio) \
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.

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