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

Synonyms for calculate


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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.
Recent Examples on the Web Those figures are used by policymakers and scientists to help calculate how much the planet will warm. Michael Biesecker And Helen Wieffering, Chron, 28 July 2022 Now a group of researchers, using observational data and climate modeling, have sought to calculate just how much human-fueled climate change is to blame. William Booth, Washington Post, 28 July 2022 Those figures are used by policy makers and scientists to help calculate how much the planet will warm in the coming decades. Michael Biesecker And Helen Wieffering, Anchorage Daily News, 28 July 2022 The deposit beta, which helps calculate the interest that banks pass on, is estimated to be about 5 basis points for the first 200 basis points in federal funds rate increases, meaning companies see very little benefit, Ms. Misra said. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, 27 July 2022 To calculate the results, Pantry & Larder used annual national consumption data from none other than the National Chicken Council, based on a state-level trends report. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 27 July 2022 To calculate the rankings, the company looked at 97 of the busiest airports in the world in terms of commercial passengers that use them each year. Emily Sweeney,, 26 July 2022 Nationally, and for every state and county in the U.S., the Elder Index uses various public databases to calculate the cost of health care, housing, food, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses for seniors. Fortune, 25 July 2022 In testing, Beauty Lab scientists use machines like the Corneometer, which measures testers' skin hydration levels before application and again six hours after to calculate how much the product has increased skin's moisture levels. Catharine Malzahn, Good Housekeeping, 25 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for calculate

Time Traveler

The first known use of calculate was in 1542

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Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Calculate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for calculate


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on calculate

Nglish: Translation of calculate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of calculate for Arabic Speakers


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