com·​pu·​ta·​tion | \ ˌkäm-pyu̇-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce computation (audio) , -pyü- \

Definition of computation

1a : the act or action of computing : calculation
b : the use or operation of a computer
2 : a system of reckoning
3 : an amount computed

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Other Words from computation

computational \ ˌkäm-​pyu̇-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce computational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl , -​pyü-​ \ adjective
computationally adverb

Examples of computation in a Sentence

methods used for the computation of taxes The solution required a series of computations.
Recent Examples on the Web Thomson is a fan of a privacy-preserving method called multi-party computation, where random noise is added to data before it is used to train an A.I. algorithm. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Privacy-preserving A.I. is the future of A.I.," 16 June 2020 The result: Testing 5,000 sites along a 1,000-meter pipe created the most accurate results with the least amount of computation. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "This Neural Net Can Detect Leaky Pipes in Mere Seconds," 10 Apr. 2020 The art of quantum computation is to manipulate this list of probabilities so that the odds work for you. Quanta Magazine, "How Pi Connects Colliding Blocks to a Quantum Search Algorithm," 21 Jan. 2020 The new attack requires computing two such tables, each of which takes weeks of computation—long enough that Wouters didn't bother to finish creating the second one. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "Hackers Could Steal a Tesla Model S by Cloning Its Key Fob—Again," 27 Aug. 2019 For portable generators, do the same computations for the power requirements in your camper or RV. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Features to Consider Before Buying a Generator," 9 Apr. 2020 In some instances, the actual algorithms used to determine who is free and who is caged are proprietary, and defendants have no way to access or challenge the black box computations that determine their fate. Nick Pinto, The New Republic, "Criminal justice reformers are rethinking the crusade against cash bail.," 6 Apr. 2020 That capacity underlies the social and economic power of computation. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "With a Phone, Are You Ever Really Somewhere?," 16 Jan. 2020 But by momentarily undervolting a processor by 25 or 30 percent, and precisely timing that voltage change, an attacker can cause the chip to make errors in the midst of computations that use secret data. Wired, "Hackers Can Mess With Voltages to Steal Intel Chips' Secrets," 10 Dec. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for computation

Time Traveler

The first known use of computation was in the 15th century

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Statistics for computation

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Computation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for computation


How to pronounce computation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of computation

: the act or process of computing or calculating something


com·​pu·​ta·​tion | \ ˌkäm-pyə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce computation (audio) \

Kids Definition of computation

1 : the act or action of determining by use of mathematics
2 : a result obtained by using mathematics

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