cal·cu·la·tion | \ ˌkal-kyə-ˈlā-shən \

Definition of calculation 

1a : the process or an act of calculating

b : the result of an act of calculating

2a : studied care in analyzing or planning

b : cold heartless planning to promote self-interest

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from calculation

calculational \-ˈlāsh-nəl, -ˈlā-shə-nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of calculation in a Sentence

According to experts' calculations, that star will explode within two billion years. The computer can do millions of calculations each second. Careful calculation is required to determine the required amount of fuel. The book reveals the cold calculations that were behind the government's policies. His positions are based on political calculation of what voters want to hear.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

But the above example probably doesn’t capture everything that goes on when making these calculations. Peter Eavis, New York Times, "How Much Can Goldman and Morgan Stanley Pay Out to Investors?," 22 June 2018 In theory, parents and students can perform these calculations manually to find the true bottom line. Kevin Carey, WSJ, "Financial Games Colleges Play," 13 June 2018 These calculations are based on trips in Tesla's new Model 3, which gets 310 miles per charge. Ben Abramson, USA TODAY, "Yes, you can take electric cars on long road trips," 29 May 2018 Running these calculations and watching school shootings time and time again take the lives of educators and students has presented an unexpected challenge. Jennifer Calfas, Time, "‘They’re Really on Their Own.’ Santa Fe Reveals the Danger of Being a Substitute Teacher in Era of School Shootings," 24 May 2018 These calculations published this week in the journal Joule aren’t new. Angela Chen, The Verge, "The best times people used company resources to mine cryptocurrency," 17 May 2018 But if Turkey has an authoritarian government, then why should these political calculations matter? Howard Eissenstat, Washington Post, "Turkey’s president will win the country’s snap elections. Here’s why they still matter.," 20 Apr. 2018 Despite these calculations, there is still room for some surprises, as the JPL site notes. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "We Know Exactly Where Musk’s Space Tesla Is Going," 8 Feb. 2018 These calculations don't include teachers who started in another district and transferred to Jefferson County. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "JCPS leaders are worried that pension reform will push too many teachers out the door," 29 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'calculation.' 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 calculation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about calculation

Share calculation

Statistics for calculation

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for calculation

The first known use of calculation was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for calculation



English Language Learners Definition of calculation

: a process or result of calculating something

: careful thought and planning that is done usually for selfish reasons


cal·cu·la·tion | \ ˌkal-kyə-ˈlā-shən \

Kids Definition of calculation

: the process or result of adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing Careful calculation is required. Our calculations indicate a slight increase.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on calculation

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


to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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