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

Definition of reckon

transitive verb

1a : count reckon the days till Christmas
b : estimate, compute reckon the height of a building
c : to determine by reference to a fixed basis the existence of the U.S. is reckoned from the Declaration of Independence
2 : to regard or think of as : consider
3 chiefly dialectal : think, suppose I reckon I've outlived my time— Ellen Glasgow

intransitive verb

1 : to settle accounts
2 : to make a calculation
3a : judge
b chiefly dialectal : suppose, think
4 : 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

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Examples of reckon in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web While many Americans work to reckon with the nation’s racist past, Trump and other conservatives are working to preserve a narrative that casts the United States as a moral leader, as virtuous and as exceptional. Author: Moriah Balingit, Laura Meckler, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump alleges ‘left-wing indoctrination’ in schools, says he will create commission to push more ‘pro-American’ history," 18 Sep. 2020 We all have been forced to reckon with fear of the unknown this year and the swirling ball of change that has landed on us like an anvil in a Tom & Jerry cartoon. Jessica Saggio | Contributing Writer,, "Parents must keep going in the face of uncertainty and change," 14 Sep. 2020 And as incredible as that's been, it's simultaneously forced me to reckon with my tendency to sometimes be a total know-it-all and an even bigger control freak. Nathalie Kirby, House Beautiful, "How Decorating an Apartment With My Partner Strengthened Our Relationship," 18 Aug. 2020 Rojas has spent the days since his sister's death searching for answers in the hopes of preventing other families from experiencing the pain his family has been forced to reckon with. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, "Mesa family didn't know 10-year-old girl was being cyberbullied until after she killed herself," 6 Aug. 2020 The police rightfully took the matter seriously, and Chicagoans had to reckon with the idea that a hate crime against a Black and openly gay actor might have happened on our streets. Rex Huppke,, "Column: In Jussie Smollett case, special prosecutor finds Kim Foxx misled public. That’s unacceptable.," 17 Aug. 2020 But now people were dying one right after the next, too quickly to reckon with each in real time. Claire Galofaro, The Denver Post, "“It’s gone haywire”: When COVID-19 arrived in rural America," 6 May 2020 But even if emissions peaked last year, people will still have to reckon with a much hotter future unless deep cuts are made to global emissions over the following decades. NBC News, "Carbon emissions may have peaked in 2019 — but scientists aren't celebrating just yet," 14 Nov. 2019 Failing to reckon with that reality sets up Democrats in 2022 and 2024 to take the blame for the industry’s decline. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Biden’s Setting Himself Up to Get Blamed for Lost Blue-Collar Jobs," 21 Aug. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of reckon

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

History and Etymology for reckon

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

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Time Traveler for reckon

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for reckon

Last Updated

21 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reckon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for reckon


How to pronounce reckon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of reckon

informal : to think or suppose (something) : to believe that (something) is true or possible
: to calculate or guess (an amount, number, value, etc.) : to have or form a general idea about (something)
: to think of (someone or something) as being something specified


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

Kids Definition of reckon

1 : to believe that something is true or possible I reckon we're lost.
2 : calculate sense 1 They reckon the distance to be a mile.
3 : to regard or think of as : consider She was reckoned among the leaders.

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