# abacus

## abacus

[ab-uh-kuhs, uh-bak-uhs]
noun, plural abacuses, abaci [ab-uh-sahy, -kahy, uh-bak-ahy] .
1.
a device for making arithmetic calculations, consisting of a frame set with rods on which balls or beads are moved.
2.
Architecture. a slab forming the top of the capital of a column.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin: board, counting board, re-formed < Greek ábax

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
 abacus (ˈæbəkəs) —n , pl -ci, -cuses 1. a counting device that consists of a frame holding rods on which a specific number of beads are free to move. Each rod designates a given denomination, such as units, tens, hundreds, etc, in the decimal system, and each bead represents a digit or a specific number of digits 2. architect the flat upper part of the capital of a column [C16: from Latin, from Greek abax board covered with sand for tracing calculations, from Hebrew ābhāq dust]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

abacus
late 14c., "sand table for drawing, calculating, etc.," from L. abacus, from Gk. abax (gen. abakos) "counting table," from Heb. abaq "dust," from root a-b-q "to fly off." Originally a drawing board covered with dust or sand that could be written on to do mathematical equations. Specific reference to
a counting frame is 17c. or later.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Abacus is what its originators call a solera cabernet.
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Abacus payroll is distributed on a weekly or bi-weekly basis depending on the region of the state the temporary is employed.
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