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 Culver said second-degree assault is a misdemeanor, and the result of his sentence was a calculation determined by Maryland sentencing guidelines. Kristen Griffith,, 1 July 2021 Lost in the theatrics — and semi-hysterics — over the shakedown pitchers must now endure is a simple calculation about major league baseball that has become apparent as the midpoint of the season nears. Tim Dahlberg, Star Tribune, 26 June 2021 Determining the appropriate length of any felony sentence is not a mathematical calculation. NBC News, 25 June 2021 Finally, and not least, there's the geostrategic calculation. Melik Kaylan, Forbes, 17 May 2021 Many economists argue that this is a rational calculation since men still earn more than women. William A. Galston, WSJ, 11 May 2021 The latest number will help the committee evaluate just how common this adverse reaction is, a calculation that will be crucial to the panel deciding whether the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks., 23 Apr. 2021 White House officials denied keeping the low refugee cap was a political calculation and told reporters that the refugee admission process had been largely dismantled by the Trump Administration and would take time to stand back up. Brian Bennett, Time, 21 Apr. 2021 Suggesting that there is some cynical calculation to these kinds of gambits is seen as an unsophisticated, even offensive, analysis. New York Times, 14 Apr. 2021

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

13 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Calculation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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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 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on calculation

Nglish: Translation of calculation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of calculation for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about calculation


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