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[kuh m-pyoot] /kəmˈpyut/
verb (used with object), computed, computing.
to determine by calculation; reckon; calculate:
to compute the period of Jupiter's revolution.
to determine by using a computer or calculator.
verb (used without object), computed, computing.
to reckon; calculate.
to use a computer or calculator.
Informal. to make sense; add up:
His reasons for doing that just don't compute.
outer space that is vast beyond compute.
Origin of compute
1375-1425 for earlier sense; 1580-90 for def 6; (v.) < Latin computāre, equivalent to com- com- + putāre to think; (noun) late Middle English < Middle French < Late Latin computus calculation, number, noun derivative of computāre; cf. putative, count1
Related forms
computable, adjective
computability, noun
computably, adverb
[kuh m-pyoo-tist, kom-pyoo-] /kəmˈpyu tɪst, ˈkɒm pyʊ-/ (Show IPA),
miscompute, verb, miscomputed, miscomputing.
precompute, verb, precomputed, precomputing.
recompute, verb (used with object), recomputed, recomputing.
uncomputable, adjective
uncomputableness, noun
uncomputably, adverb
uncomputed, adjective
1. estimate, count, figure. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for compute
  • However, in this bureaucratic context, they are nothing but ways to compute the service teachers are required to do.
  • One way to compute its value is to shine light through a gas-filled container.
  • compute the average distance or time consumers will travel to reach a given sort of business.
  • Then measure the distance from your window to the ground, and you can compute the acceleration of the scale.
  • Looking at cloud infrastructure, at the cloud compute and cloud storage layers, things get a bit better.
  • The second supposition is that all things can compute.
  • Why can't the economist give a weighted graph when it can compute the unweighted graph.
  • They failed to compute how far this sort of fanciful nonsense required that they intrude their tongues into their cheeks.
  • He claimed that the electronic grade book has not been invented that can compute and record grades faster than he can on paper.
  • The students will also use it to compute averages and statistics of how the students performed.
British Dictionary definitions for compute


to calculate (an answer, result, etc), often with the aid of a computer
calculation; computation (esp in the phrase beyond compute)
Derived Forms
computable, adjective
computability, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin computāre, from putāre to think
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 compute

1630s, from French computer, from Latin computare "to count, sum up, reckon together," from com- "with" (see com-) + putare "to reckon," originally "to prune" (see pave). Related: Computed; computing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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