[ kuhm-pyoot ]
/ kəmˈpyut /

verb (used with object), com·put·ed, com·put·ing.

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), com·put·ed, com·put·ing.

to reckon; calculate.
to use a computer or calculator.
Informal. to make sense; add up: His reasons for doing that just don't compute.


computation: outer space that is vast beyond compute.

Nearby words

  1. computation,
  2. computational,
  3. computational complexity,
  4. computational fluid dynamics,
  5. computational linguistics,
  6. computed tomography,
  7. computer,
  8. computer age,
  9. computer animation,
  10. computer architecture

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for compute

British Dictionary definitions for compute


/ (kəmˈpjuːt) /


to calculate (an answer, result, etc), often with the aid of a computer


calculation; computation (esp in the phrase beyond compute)
Derived Formscomputable, adjectivecomputability, noun

Word Origin for compute

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 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