reck·​on | \ ˈre-kən How to pronounce reckon (audio) \
reckoned; reckoning\ ˈre-​kə-​niŋ How to pronounce reckon (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 But at the same time, any celebration of a conviction of one officer would be weighed against the reality of persistent racial disparities that Mr. Floyd’s death has forced Minneapolis to reckon with. Tim Arango, New York Times, "‘God Knows What’s Going to Happen’: Minneapolis Braces for Verdict in Floyd’s Death," 19 Apr. 2021 In the face of brewing hatred, entertainment industries have been forced to reckon with how creators have depicted Asian people across pop culture. Nick Romano,, "Shadow and Bone team discuss the impact of updating main character's race for the Netflix series," 15 Apr. 2021 The shortages have made this effort a little awkward, however, and Gates is now forced to reckon with the question of technology transfer. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, "How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines," 12 Apr. 2021 Taken as a whole, their corpus shows a society traumatized by one war—riddled with resentments, seduced by hatred—and in search of victims for the next one, a society dragged into the abyss and then forced to reckon with its rubble. Toby Lichtig, WSJ, "‘The Passenger’ Review: No Exit," 26 Mar. 2021 Government officials have had to reckon with grass-roots political movements built on tweets. Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: Twitter is 15. How 140 characters unleashed a ‘firehose’ we can’t turn off," 24 Mar. 2021 Condé Nast has had to reckon with diversity problems over the past year. Kerry Flynn, CNN, "Wired names Gideon Lichfield of MIT Tech Review as top editor," 2 Mar. 2021 This summer, several comedy institutions have had to reckon with their overwhelming whiteness. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "ClickHole Started as a Meat Joke. Can It Avoid Being Offal?," 22 Oct. 2020 But as the virus regained strength over the summer, the president has had to reckon with the fact that reopening has in some cases resulted in spikes in infection. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "One of the most reliable indicators of reelection looks ominous for Trump," 14 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

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reckon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for reckon



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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