Borrowed from Latin calculātus, perfect passive participle of calculō (“I reckon, originally by means of pebbles”), from calculus (“a pebble”). Refer to calculus for origin.
calculate (third-person singular simple present calculates, present participle calculating, simple past and past participle calculated)
- (transitive, mathematics) To determine the value of something or the solution to something by a mathematical process.
- Calculate the square root of 3 to 10 decimal places.
- (intransitive, mathematics) To determine values or solutions by a mathematical process; reckon.
- (intransitive, US, dialect) To plan; to expect; to think.
- 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
- I stumbled along through the young pines and huckleberry bushes. Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path that, I cal'lated, might lead to the road I was hunting for. It twisted and turned, and, the first thing I knew, made a sudden bend around a bunch of bayberry scrub and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn.
- To ascertain or predict by mathematical or astrological computations the time, circumstances, or other conditions of; to forecast or compute the character or consequences of.
- 1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i]:
- A cunning man did calculate my birth.
- to calculate or cast one's nativity
- To adjust for purpose; to adapt by forethought or calculation; to fit or prepare by the adaptation of means to an end.
- 1671, John Tillotson, “Sermon IV. The Advantages of Religion to Particular Persons. Psalm XIX. 11.”, in The Works of the Most Reverend Dr. John Tillotson, Late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury: […], 8th edition, London: […] T. Goodwin, B[enjamin] Tooke, and J. Pemberton, […]; J. Round […], and J[acob] Tonson] […], published 1720, →OCLC:
- [Religion] is […] calculated for our benefit.
- to calculate a system of laws for the government and protection of a free people
- (chess) To imagine sequences of potential moves and responses without actually moving the pieces.
Conjugation of calculate
|present tense||past tense|
|2nd-person singular||calculate, calculatest†||calculated, calculatedst†|
|3rd-person singular||calculates, calculateth†||calculated|
- (determine value of or solution to): compute, reckon (old), work out
- (determine values or solutions): compute, reckon (old)
(transitive) to determine the value or solution of sth.
(intransitive) to determine values or solutions
- “calculate”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- “calculate”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
- Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “calculate”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
- second-person plural present active imperative of calculō
- "calculate ye, compute ye"
- (figuratively) "consider ye as, esteem ye"
- second-person singular voseo imperative of calcular combined with te