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From Middle English rekenen, from Old English recenian (to pay; arrange, dispose, reckon) and ġerecenian (to explain, recount, relate); both from Proto-Germanic *rekanōną (to count, explain), from Proto-Germanic *rekanaz (swift, ready, prompt), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃reǵ- (to make straight or right).

Cognate with Scots rekkin (to ennumerate, mention, narrate, rehearse, count, calculate, compute), West Frisian rekkenje (to account, tally, calculate, figure), Dutch rekenen (to count, calculate, reckon), Low German rekenen (to reckon), German rechnen (to count, reckon, calculate), Swedish räkna (to count, calculate, reckon), Icelandic reikna (to calculate). See also reck, reach.



reckon (third-person singular simple present reckons, present participle reckoning, simple past and past participle reckoned)

  1. To count; to enumerate; to number; also, to compute; to calculate.
    • ...then the priest shall reckon unto him the money according to the years that remain... --Lev. 27:18, King James Version.
    I reckoned above two hundred and fifty on the outside of the church. Joseph Addison.
  2. To count as in a number, rank, or series; to estimate by rank or quality; to place by estimation; to account; to esteem; to repute.
    • He was reckoned among the transgressors. Luke 23:37, King James Version
    • For him I reckon not in high estate. John Milton.
  3. To charge, attribute, or adjudge to one, as having a certain quality or value.
    • was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. Romans 4:9, King James Version.
    • Without her eccentricities being reckoned to her for a crime. Nathaniel Hawthorne.
  4. To conclude, as by an enumeration and balancing of chances; hence, to think; to suppose; -- followed by an objective clause;
    • For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. --Romans 8:18, King James Version.
    • Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin... --Romans 6:11, King James Version
    • I reckon he won't try that again.
  5. (intransitive) To make an enumeration or computation; to engage in numbering or computing.
  6. To come to an accounting; to draw up or settle accounts; to examine and strike the balance of debt and credit; to adjust relations of desert or penalty.
    • Parfay," sayst thou, sometime he reckon shall." Chaucer.


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Derived termsEdit


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See alsoEdit