[kuh m-pyoo-ting]


the use of a computer to process data or perform calculations.
the act of calculating or reckoning.

Origin of computing

First recorded in 1640–50; compute + -ing1



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.

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··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

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

Related Words for computing

gauge, count, tote, figure, reckon, sum, tally, tot, enumerate, rate, cipher, measure, total

Examples from the Web for computing

Contemporary Examples of computing

Historical Examples of computing

British Dictionary definitions for computing



the activity of using computers and writing programs for them
the study of computers and their implications


of or relating to computerscomputing skills



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 computing



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