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[kal-kyuh-leyt] /ˈkæl kyəˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), calculated, calculating.
to determine or ascertain by mathematical methods; compute:
to calculate the velocity of light.
to determine by reasoning, common sense, or practical experience; estimate; evaluate; gauge.
to make suitable or fit for a purpose; adapt (usually used passively and with an infinitive):
His remarks were calculated to inspire our confidence.
Chiefly Northern U.S.
  1. to think; guess.
  2. to intend; plan.
verb (used without object), calculated, calculating.
to make a computation or form an estimate.
to count or rely (usually followed by on or upon):
They calculated on good weather.
Origin of calculate
1560-70; < Late Latin calculātus reckoned (past participle of calculāre), equivalent to calculus pebble (see calculus) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
precalculate, verb (used with object), precalculated, precalculating.
1. count, figure, cast. 3. design, plan, intend, mean. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for calculate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Even to calculate on a mans death and make arrangements for filling his place is justly esteemed indecorous and unfeeling.

  • She lost her reason at the age of sixteen, and she is now thirty-four; you can calculate!

    Capitola's Peril Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth
  • I did not think I was robbed; because the money, when we came to calculate, was all right.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Of how far Will, in another man, may carry him, I dare not judge or calculate.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • As in summer it often rises to 99 degrees, we may calculate a range of temperature of 150 degrees.

    Fred Markham in Russia W. H. G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for calculate


to solve (one or more problems) by a mathematical procedure; compute
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to determine beforehand by judgment, reasoning, etc; estimate
(transitive; usually passive) to design specifically; aim: the car was calculated to appeal to women
(intransitive; foll by on or upon) to depend; rely
(transitive; may take a clause as object) (US, dialect)
  1. to suppose; think
  2. to intend (to do something)
Derived Forms
calculative (ˈkælkjʊlətɪv) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin calculāre, from calculus pebble used as a counter; see calculus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for calculate

1560s, "to compute, to estimate by mathematical means," from Latin calculatus, past participle of calculare "to reckon, compute," from calculus (see calculus). Meaning "to plan, devise" is from 1650s. Replaced earlier calculen (mid-14c.), from Old French calculer. Related: Calculable.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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