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 In the wake of scandal, the movie industry reckons with its past and its future. Erin Overbey, The New Yorker, "Sunday Reading: Hollywood Stories," 24 Nov. 2019 Dhaka, one of the world’s fastest growing megacities, must reckon with the difficulties of a tropical monsoon climate. E.o’k. | Dhaka, The Economist, "How architects are designing buildings for Bangladesh’s tropical monsoon climate," 5 Nov. 2019 In these poems, Skeets reckons with homophobia and loneliness and death and murder. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Jake Skeets Finds the Beauty in Brutality," 30 Sep. 2019 Ayakha Melithafa, 17, who lives on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, has reckoned with her city running out of water. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "While global leaders messed around, Greta Thunberg and 15 kids got down to business," 23 Sep. 2019 The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent breakdown of the Soviet Union, as Wüstenberg notes, allowed communities to more openly and more effusively reckon with their pasts as there was even more freedom of communication. Gail Fletcher, National Geographic, "The forgotten ‘wolf children’ of World War II," 29 July 2019 After 400 years of racial slavery, racial terrorism and racial caste, the nation must reckon with the debt (in whatever form) owed to African Americans. Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey, Twin Cities, "Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey: Why now is the moment to atone for 400 years of racism," 28 July 2019 As the debate over the addition of a citizenship question for the 2020 census has continued to rage in U.S. Congress, experts and laymen in the public sphere have reckoned with the potential fallout of such a development. Jess Mchugh, Fortune, "The U.S. Census Has a Long History of Discrimination," 20 June 2019 Some veterans of early state legalization campaigns have reckoned with their limitations. Jennifer Peltz, The Seattle Times, "Pot ‘legalization 2.0’: Social equity becomes a key question," 20 May 2019

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

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Reckon.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 16 December 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on reckon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reckon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reckon

Spanish Central: Translation of reckon

Nglish: Translation of reckon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reckon for Arabic Speakers

Comments on reckon

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having a smooth flowing sound

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