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

More trade means more weight in the REER calculation, and vice versa. WSJ, "What Is the Real Effective Exchange Rate?," 4 Nov. 2018 More importantly, this motivator doesn’t require a lot of calculation, which is incredibly important. James Vincent, The Verge, "How teaching AI to be curious helps machines learn for themselves," 1 Nov. 2018 The meeting materials included an explanation of the calculations, which the district originally used in its staffing adjustments that shifted more than two dozen teachers earlier this month. Dahlia Bazzaz, The Seattle Times, "The February ballot for Seattle’s school construction levy, and how feedback changed it," 16 Oct. 2018 The absence of 20 million male workers translates, by some calculations, into more than $1 trillion a year in annual GDP. Andrew L. Yarrow, Vox, "I spoke to hundreds of American men who still can’t find work," 15 Sep. 2018 This had not been taken into account in previous calculations. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Gamma ray evidence for dark matter outshone by a flock of pulsars," 10 Aug. 2018 Word was, he had been ordered, at the last minute, to pulp the first run of booklets and to rush out new versions, stripped of cost calculations. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, "Can Andy Byford Save the Subways?," 2 July 2018 The 500 list is based on the machines’ speed of mathematical calculation. Steve Lohr, The Seattle Times, "China extends its lead as most prolific supercomputer maker," 25 June 2018 The family-separation debacle illustrates the limits of this cynical calculation’s utility. Jay Willis, GQ, "Kirstjen Nielsen’s Lies About Separating Families at the Border Tell Us Everything," 19 June 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

14 Nov 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 clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!