Dictionary

# calculate

verb cal·cu·late \ˈkal-kyə-ˌlāt\

: to find (a number, answer, etc.) by using mathematical processes

: to get a general idea about the value, size, or cost of (something)

cal·cu·lat·edcal·cu·lat·ing

## Full Definition of CALCULATE

transitive verb
1
a :  to determine by mathematical processes <calculate the rate of acceleration>
b :  to reckon by exercise of practical judgment :  estimate <calculate the likelihood of success>
c :  to solve or probe the meaning of :  figure out <trying to calculate his expression — Hugh MacLennan>
2
:  to design or adapt for a purpose <he carefully calculated the timing of his arrival for maximum impact>
3
a :  to judge to be true or probable
b :  intend <I calculate to do it or perish in the attempt — Mark Twain>
intransitive verb
1
a :  to make a calculation
b :  to forecast consequences
2

## Origin of CALCULATE

Latin calculatus, past participle of calculare, from calculus pebble (used in reckoning), perhaps irregular diminutive of calc-, calx lime — more at chalk
First Known Use: 1570
CALCULATE Defined for Kids

## calculate

verb cal·cu·late \ˈkal-kyə-ˌlāt\
cal·cu·lat·edcal·cu·lat·ing

## Definition of CALCULATE for Kids

1
:  to find by adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing :  compute <calculate an average>
2
:  1estimate <She calculated the risk.>
3
:  to plan by careful thought :  intend <Her remark was calculated to shock her listeners.>

## Word History of CALCULATE

In Latin the word calculus meant pebble. Because the Romans used pebbles to do addition and subtraction on a counting board, the word became associated with computation, and the phrase ponere calculos, literally, to place pebbles, was used to mean to carry out a computation. Latin words coming from calculus include calculator, person able to do arithmetic, and calculare, to reckon, from which we get the word calculate.

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