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

As usual with optical setups, everything has to be carefully aligned and nothing may move during a computation. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Light-based computer may parallelize 10-megabit computations," 13 June 2019 But his insight that the behavior of both machines and human beings could be represented through computation became a founding principle of computer science. Fred Turner, Harper's magazine, "Machine Politics," 10 Jan. 2019 This technology works like a mirror if a mirror could do useful computation on the light bouncing off of it, reflecting back signal after it’s been modified by low-power electronics. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Here Comes ‘Smart Dust,’ the Tiny Computers That Pull Power from the Air," 8 Nov. 2018 Classical machines couldn’t necessarily do all these computations efficiently, though. Quanta Magazine, "Quantum Algorithms Struggle Against Old Foe: Clever Computers," 1 Feb. 2018 Chemist: Chemists conduct analyses and experiments in laboratories that require qualitative and quantitative computation., "Jobs add up for students proficient in math," 19 Apr. 2018 Like many fields, architecture has been affected by computation pretty dramatically in the past 20 years. Angela Chen, The Verge, "How slime molds and mussels could be the future of architecture," 27 Nov. 2018 In particular, qubits don’t live very long, so not much computation can be done. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Qubits kept together by shouting at them with microwaves," 5 Oct. 2018 This process will create a superposition state that extends far beyond the intended 30, ruining any potential computation. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Careful phasing of a photonic qubit brings light under control," 8 Feb. 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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Statistics for computation

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for computation

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 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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