mis·​cal·​cu·​late ˌmis-ˈkal-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce miscalculate (audio)
miscalculated; miscalculating

transitive + intransitive

: to calculate wrongly : to make a miscalculation
This fall, publishers badly miscalculated the public's appetite for celebrity tell-alls.Patrick M. Reilly
… the bosses simply weren't ready when it turned out they had miscalculated badly.Kevin Drum

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Others fear that the U.S. will miscalculate and entrap them in a potential nuclear war with North Korea or China. Michael Mitsanas, NBC News, 25 Apr. 2023 Corrections & clarifications: A previous version of this story miscalculated the number of head of cattle slaughtered each day in the U.S. The fire spread quickly through the holding pens, where thousands of dairy cows crowded together waiting to be milked, trapped in deadly confines. Rick Jervis, USA TODAY, 13 Apr. 2023 The big problem for the U.S., meanwhile, is that people in Mr. Putin’s position tend to miscalculate disastrously. WSJ, 25 Jan. 2022 The real reasons people have repeatedly hit the notorious road marker are probably more mundane: poor design, distracted and impatient drivers, motorists miscalculating a turn. Steve Annear, BostonGlobe.com, 23 Feb. 2023 Biden’s visit to Ukraine a year into the biggest war in Europe since World War II underscores just how badly Russian President Vladimir Putin miscalculated. Frida Ghitis, CNN, 21 Feb. 2023 How did Nordhaus miscalculate so wildly? Kate Brown, Washington Post, 27 May 2022 Amazon and Google miscalculated how the voice assistants would be used, leading them to invest in areas with the technology that rarely paid off, former employees said. Karen Weise, New York Times, 15 Mar. 2023 Georgia’s informal ruler, the oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili, is miscalculating his people just as Russian President Vladimir Putin underestimated the Ukrainian people. Will Cathcart, CNN, 10 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'miscalculate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1633, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of miscalculate was in 1633

Dictionary Entries Near miscalculate

Cite this Entry

“Miscalculate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miscalculate. Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to calculate wrongly : make a mistake in calculation

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