cal·​cu·​la·​tion | \ ˌkal-kyə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce calculation (audio) \

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

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Other Words from calculation

calculational \ ˌkal-​kyə-​ˈlāsh-​nəl How to pronounce calculation (audio) , -​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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Post’s calculation reflects 703,000 pending appeals across the country and 529,000 people waiting on a benefits decision in the states that publicly share that information or who responded to a request for comment. Washington Post, "Months later, more than 1 million Americans are still waiting for unemployment aid," 4 Jan. 2021 Climate campaigners’ willingness to make calls for Ossoff signals a strategic calculation, not undying loyalty. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "The Pragmatism of the Radical Climate Left," 30 Dec. 2020 There are four factors that go into the calculation: available ICU capacity, the rate of ICU admissions, the seven-day average coronavirus case rate and the virus transmission rate. Los Angeles Times, "Stay-at-home order for much of California extended amid COVID-19 overload at hospitals," 29 Dec. 2020 The bill has language that will exclude those benefits from the income eligibility calculation in many instances. New York Times, Star Tribune, "The stimulus package: What's in it for you," 27 Dec. 2020 The calculation was made by Dr. Chuck Cleland, an associate professor in biostatistics at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine. New York Times, "Isolation Helps Homeless Population Escape Worst of Virus," 23 Dec. 2020 Those discrepancies can generally occur when there are calculation errors or differences between electronic processing fees, but also in cases of potential fraud. Mark Maurer, WSJ, "Companies’ Internal Auditors Test Earlier for Covid-Related, Other Risks," 21 Dec. 2020 Turing proved that this simple kind of computer is capable of performing any possible calculation, given the right instructions and enough time. Quanta Magazine, "How the Slowest Computer Programs Illuminate Math’s Fundamental Limits," 10 Dec. 2020 But in its early December calculation, the government used two numbers that were lower than official figures published elsewhere, according to federal documents reviewed by The Times. New York Times, "Mexico Misled Citizens About the Severity of Coronavirus in its Capital," 21 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of calculation

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

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Time Traveler for calculation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for calculation

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Calculation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce calculation (audio)

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 How to pronounce calculation (audio) \

Kids Definition of calculation

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

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