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See more synonyms for compute on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), com·put·ed, com·put·ing.
  1. to determine by calculation; reckon; calculate: to compute the period of Jupiter's revolution.
  2. to determine by using a computer or calculator.
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verb (used without object), com·put·ed, com·put·ing.
  1. to reckon; calculate.
  2. to use a computer or calculator.
  3. Informal. to make sense; add up: His reasons for doing that just don't compute.
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  1. computation: outer space that is vast beyond compute.
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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 formscom·put·a·ble, adjectivecom·put·a·bil·i·ty, nouncom·put·a·bly, adverbcom·put·ist [kuhm-pyoo-tist, kom-pyoo-] /kəmˈpyu tɪst, ˈkɒm pyʊ-/, nounmis·com·pute, verb, mis·com·put·ed, mis·com·put·ing.pre·com·pute, verb, pre·com·put·ed, pre·com·put·ing.re·com·pute, verb (used with object), re·com·put·ed, re·com·put·ing.un·com·put·a·ble, adjectiveun·com·put·a·ble·ness, nounun·com·put·a·bly, adverbun·com·put·ed, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

determinable, estimable, measurable

Examples from the Web for computable

Historical Examples

  • It likes big, unmistakable, knock-down effects; it likes to get its money back in palpable, computable change.

    Picture and Text

    Henry James

  • Here is an incident I never can forget;—dating twelve or thirteen years ago (as is computable), middle of July, 1732.

  • C'est assez vous dire that I can make no plan for any social adventure within any computable time.

  • The sum was not computable by any rule known to arithmetic, mathematics, or any cognate "science of numbers."

British Dictionary definitions for computable


  1. to calculate (an answer, result, etc), often with the aid of a computer
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  1. calculation; computation (esp in the phrase beyond compute)
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Derived Formscomputable, adjectivecomputability, 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

Word Origin and History for computable



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper