Dictionary.com

abacus

[ ab-uh-kuhs, uh-bak-uhs ]
/ ˈæb ə kəs, əˈbæk əs /
Save This Word!

noun, plural ab·a·cus·es, ab·a·ci [ab-uh-sahy, -kahy, uh-bak-ahy]. /ˈæb əˌsaɪ, -ˌkaɪ, əˈbæk aɪ/.

a device for making arithmetic calculations, consisting of a frame set with rods on which balls or beads are moved.
Architecture. a slab forming the top of the capital of a column.

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

Origin of abacus

1350–1400; Middle English <Latin: board, counting board, re-formed <Greek ábax
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for abacus

British Dictionary definitions for abacus

abacus
/ (ˈæbəkəs) /

noun plural -ci (-ˌsaɪ) or -cuses

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
architect the flat upper part of the capital of a column

Word Origin for abacus

C16: from Latin, from Greek abax board covered with sand for tracing calculations, from Hebrew ābhāq dust
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
See Today's Synonym