com·​pute | \ kəm-ˈpyüt How to pronounce compute (audio) \
computed; computing

Definition of compute

transitive verb

: to determine especially by mathematical means Compute the area of the triangle. also : to determine or calculate by means of a computer computing pi to over one billion places

intransitive verb

1 : to make calculation : reckon They compute by weight in selling grain.
2 : to use a computer
3 informal : to make sense No matter how you do the math, it will not work … . It simply does not compute.— Chuck Finder

Examples of compute in a Sentence

for the test we were required to compute the answers without using a calculator
Recent Examples on the Web Let be given such that there exists an isogeny of degree with , , and A key aspect of SIDH is that one does not compute directly, but as a composition of isogenies of degree 3. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 2 Aug. 2022 According to the classical PCP theorem, energies close to the final state are just as difficult to compute as the final energy itself. Quanta Magazine, 18 July 2022 Nearly one in five gas stations is charging under the $4 mark for a gallon of regular gas, according to OPIS, which surveys US gas stations to compute price averages for AAA. Chris Isidore, CNN, 18 July 2022 Why not go one step further and use the tech to see your position and automatically compute the best settings for your side and rearview mirrors? Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 17 July 2022 This was a machine that could compute chess positions, 200 million positions a second. Quanta Magazine, 29 June 2022 Your team might need more cloud compute for a particular project, or according to seasonality. Quora, Forbes, 28 May 2022 Just does not compute in my mind of what that looks like. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 16 June 2022 Even a supercomputer that can perform over 500,000 trillion floating point operations per second will not compute a precise solution. Paul Smith-goodson, Forbes, 8 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of compute

1579, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for compute

Latin computare — more at count

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Time Traveler for compute

Time Traveler

The first known use of compute was in 1579

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Dictionary Entries Near compute



computed tomography

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Statistics for compute

Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Compute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for compute


com·​pute | \ kəm-ˈpyüt How to pronounce compute (audio) \
computed; computing

Kids Definition of compute

: to find out by using mathematics compute a total

More from Merriam-Webster on compute

Nglish: Translation of compute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of compute for Arabic Speakers


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