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 The new frequencies in the sub-Terahertz bands will transmit super-fast computations over a wide range of frequencies, allowing future cellphones to have vastly greater capabilities. CNN, "Think 5G is exciting? Just wait for 6G," 10 Feb. 2020 But computation’s indifference to place also hurls the spaces where smartphones are used into their own chaos. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "With a Phone, Are You Ever Really Somewhere?," 16 Jan. 2020 The researchers were able to determine that cuttlefish can account for the differences between what their eyes see using computations in the brain — known as stereopsis — and consequently adjust their position in the tank in real time. CBS News, "Scientists put 3D glasses on cuttlefish and played movie clips. Here's what they discovered," 9 Jan. 2020 In a society where God is definitively dead, and the age of Aquarius now seems twee, a belief in the power afforded by manipulating the internet and personal computation has risen to near religious levels. The Economist, "In the modern commune, a case of beer is not welcome," 8 Nov. 2019 To perform computations, a system would have to ensure that the p-bit spends more of its time in the state that reflects the appropriate value. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Who needs qubits? Factoring algorithm run on a probabilistic computer," 18 Sep. 2019 That computation is based on the duration of time that police officers spend in the unincorporated area. al, "Annexation continues to loom in Mobile as city and county grapple over police costs," 15 Jan. 2020 According to the paper, the device, in three minutes, had performed a highly technical and specialized computation that would have taken a regular computer 10,000 years to work out. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Quantum Computing Is Coming, Bit by Qubit," 21 Oct. 2019 Auditors say 40 sentence computations were tested, and five had inaccurate information, leading to incorrect release dates, missed rehabilitation program credits or incorrect parole eligibility classifications. USA TODAY, "‘Joker’ stairs, migration art, Amazon in politics: News from around our 50 states," 31 Oct. 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

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Computation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 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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