com·​pu·​ta·​tion | \ˌkäm-pyu̇-ˈtā-shən, -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 , -​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

Generally, scientific computation is done in a deterministic fashion. Andy Patrizio, Ars Technica, "The AI revolution has spawned a new chips arms race," 9 July 2018 Shao, however, says experts at JPL have assured him that small satellites can provide the power, computation, and communications needed for synthetic asteroid tracking to work. Adam Mann, Science | AAAS, "To find small asteroids that could hit Earth, private foundation embraces small satellites," 22 May 2018 Iordanis Kerenidis, a quantum-computation researcher at the University of Paris Diderot, made this argument at a workshop on quantum repeaters in Seefeld, Austria, last September. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, "The Quantum Internet Has Arrived (and It Hasn’t)," 16 Feb. 2018 The high-end chips in graphics cards process those computations faster, accelerating miners’ earnings. Benny Evangelista, San Francisco Chronicle, "Why the bitcoin revolution is emptying store shelves and making gamers mad," 30 Jan. 2018 The average of these measurements produced a reasonably accurate computation. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "A few Wi-Fi transmitters and your house becomes a coprocessor," 30 Apr. 2018 Bitmain, the company that Mr. Wu built with his technical co-founder, Micree Zhan, manufactures the machines that crunch through lots of computations to mine new Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. New York Times, "The People Leading the Blockchain Revolution," 27 June 2018 Bitcoin, for example, consumes more energy than all of Ireland thanks to the high-powered computation required to run its networks. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Shipping containers are now being used for cryptocurrency mining," 22 June 2018 The programs are paying off, according to Swan-Altieri, who has seen higher test scores in reading comprehension and math computation. Jessica Peralta,, "United Way programs help Anaheim students with math, English and computer science," 21 June 2018

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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Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

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

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English Language Learners Definition of computation

: the act or process of computing or calculating something


com·​pu·​ta·​tion | \ˌkäm-pyə-ˈtā-shən \

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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Comments on computation

What made you want to look up computation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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