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calculus

[kal-kyuh-luh s] /ˈkæl kyə ləs/
noun, plural calculi
[kal-kyuh-lahy] /ˈkæl kyəˌlaɪ/ (Show IPA),
calculuses.
1.
Mathematics. a method of calculation, especially one of several highly systematic methods of treating problems by a special system of algebraic notations, as differential or integral calculus.
2.
Pathology. a stone, or concretion, formed in the gallbladder, kidneys, or other parts of the body.
3.
Also called tartar. Dentistry. a hard, yellowish to brownish-black deposit on teeth formed largely through the mineralization of dead bacteria in dental plaques by the calcium salts in salivary secretions and subgingival transudates.
4.
calculation; estimation or computation:
the calculus of political appeal.
Origin
1610-1620
1610-20; < Latin: pebble, small stone (used in reckoning), equivalent to calc- (stem of calx stone) + -ulus -ule
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for calculus
  • Generally people do not retain algebra for more than two years unless they have had calculus.
  • More important, the political calculus could easily misfire.
  • So don't go looking for freak accidents of nature to derail that calculus.
  • Imagine replacing the sequence of algebra, geometry and calculus with a sequence of finance, data and basic engineering.
  • So to uncover the calculus within the genome, it might take some looking beyond the genome.
  • Fujimori's political calculus is now altered by his surprise plan to hold new elections and not be a candidate himself.
  • But in the calculus of diversity, our own differences don't add up to much.
  • On the shelf and in the cart, the super-couponer evaluates products with the cold-eyed calculus of a trader.
  • The first, for example, calls to mind the appearance of calculators in calculus courses.
  • In the calculus of global warming, natural gas is generally considered to be preferable to coal as a fuel.
British Dictionary definitions for calculus

calculus

/ˈkælkjʊləs/
noun (pl) -luses
1.
a branch of mathematics, developed independently by Newton and Leibniz. Both differential calculus and integral calculus are concerned with the effect on a function of an infinitesimal change in the independent variable as it tends to zero
2.
any mathematical system of calculation involving the use of symbols
3.
(logic) an uninterpreted formal system Compare formal language (sense 2)
4.
(pathol) (pl) -li (-ˌlaɪ). a stonelike concretion of minerals and salts found in ducts or hollow organs of the body
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: pebble, stone used in reckoning, from calx small stone, counter
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 calculus
n.

1660s, from Latin calculus "reckoning, account," originally "pebble used as a reckoning counter," diminutive of calx (genitive calcis) "limestone" (see chalk (n.)). Modern mathematical sense is a shortening of differential calculus. Also used from 1732 to mean kidney stones, etc., then generally for "concretion occurring accidentally in the animal body," such as dental plaque. Related: Calculous (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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calculus in Medicine

calculus cal·cu·lus (kāl'kyə-ləs)
n. pl. cal·cu·lus·es or cal·cu·li (-lī')

  1. An abnormal concretion in the body, usually formed of mineral salts and most commonly found in the gallbladder, kidney, or urinary bladder. Also called stone.

  2. Dental tartar.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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calculus in Science
calculus
  (kāl'kyə-ləs)   
Plural calculi (kāl'kyə-lī') or calculuses
  1. The branch of mathematics that deals with limits and the differentiation and integration of functions of one or more variables. See more at calculus of variations, differential calculus, integral calculus.

  2. A solid mass, usually composed of inorganic material, formed in a cavity or tissue of the body. Calculi are most commonly found in the gallbladder, kidney, or urinary bladder. Also called stone.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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calculus in Culture

calculus definition


The branch of mathematics, usually studied after algebra, that provides a natural method for describing gradual change.

Note: Most modern sciences use calculus.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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