reck·​on ˈre-kən How to pronounce reckon (audio)
reckoned; reckoning ˈre-kə-niŋ How to pronounce reckon (audio)

transitive verb

: count
reckon the days till Christmas
: estimate, compute
reckon the height of a building
: to determine by reference to a fixed basis
the existence of the U.S. is reckoned from the Declaration of Independence
: to regard or think of as : consider
chiefly dialectal : think, suppose
I reckon I've outlived my time Ellen Glasgow

intransitive verb

: to settle accounts
: to make a calculation
: judge
chiefly dialectal : suppose, think
: to accept something as certain : place reliance
I reckon on your promise to help
reckon with
: to take into consideration
reckon without
: to fail to consider : ignore

Example Sentences

I reckon that we'll have to leave early. Do you reckon you'll be able to go to the grocery store after work? We'll have to leave early, I reckon. They reckoned that they would reach their destination by noon. Losses were reckoned to be over a million dollars.
Recent Examples on the Web Forced to reckon with her life outside of work, Joan wrestles with her cultural identity and her family’s expectations for her happiness, especially as the coronavirus pandemic begins. Allison Cho, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2022 Not just in show business, either — almost every industry has had to reckon with its share of monsters in the wake of their Weinstein story and its aftermath. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 17 Nov. 2022 But only Spielberg and Leah knew the specifics of the timeline—an instance of a young man having to reckon with his parents as full human beings before reaching adulthood himself. Time, 16 Nov. 2022 Lee Sang-won closed his cafe near the accident site early, at around 2 p.m., struggling to reckon with the tragedy. Jiyoung Sohn, WSJ, 30 Oct. 2022 Yet both fans and haters have had to reckon with the fact that although the best Swift albums have evolved her sound, this one takes a U-turn. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 27 Oct. 2022 At the same time, references to historical noncitizen voting practices often fail to reckon with the social and political contexts of the time. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 24 Oct. 2022 Her work is a an invitation to participate, witness and reckon with ways of being that are sensual, safe and intimate. Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2022 Schoen can’t pay free agents anything more than the minimum, but by beating the Packers, the Giants have emerged as a real NFC team to reckon with. Pat Leonard, Hartford Courant, 10 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English rekenen, from Old English -recenian (as in gerecenian to narrate); akin to Old English reccan

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of reckon was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near reckon

Cite this Entry

“Reckon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



reck·​on ˈrek-ən How to pronounce reckon (audio)
reckoned; reckoning -(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce reckon (audio)
: count entry 1 sense 1a, compute
reckon the days till her birthday
: to estimate by calculating
reckon the height of a building
: consider sense 3, regard
was reckoned among the leaders
chiefly dialect : think sense 2, suppose
: to look forward to as certain : depend
reckon on support

More from Merriam-Webster on reckon

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.