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 In Levy’s calculation, by 1860 enslaved people alone had a market value of $3 billion, or three times the value of all the industrial buildings and machinery in the country at that time. Washington Post, 4 June 2021 The average individual engagement rate on Instagram, by one calculation, is 4.7%. Carrie Bobb, Forbes, 1 June 2021 Those 39 million households cover, by the IRS’s calculation, about 88% of children in the US, and in aggregate, the payments will total up to $3,600 for children under the age of 6 and $3,000 for children between ages 6 and 17. Andy Meek, BGR, 27 May 2021 McCarthy, who for a short while condemned Trump's actions ahead of the storming of the Capitol on January 6 before making a pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago, has clearly run all these calculation in his head. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 27 Apr. 2021 And yet, legislators are willing to sacrifice all of it because of their own hate, ignorance and/or political calculation. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2021 By any reasonable calculation, the United States and other wealthy nations have already blown through more than their share of the budget and should commit to cutting emissions as quickly as possible. Rachel Cleetus, Scientific American, 14 Apr. 2021 An independent calculation of inflation based on prior methodologies reveals the potential for abuse, equal on one measure to a persistent 2 percent annual inflation undercount. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 10 Apr. 2021 But, all craftiness and calculation aside, there’s a sweetness to the regression that’s not inconsequential. Chris Willman,, 9 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

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Calculation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 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.


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