- calculate
- calculate, compute, estimate, reckon mean to determine something (as cost, speed, or quantity) by mathematical and especially arithmetical processes.Calculate is usually preferred when highly advanced, intricate, or elaborate processes are followed with precision and care and when the result arrived at is not readily proven by a physical confirmation (as by measuring or enumerating){

}*calculate*the distance between the sun and the earth{

}*calculate*the number of atoms in a cubic centimeter of hydrogenCompute is preferred where the data are given or the actual figures involved are known and at hand and not arrived at indirectly; it therefore commonly implies the use of simple though often lengthy arithmetical processes{

}*compute*the interest due{

}*compute*the cost of running a business during a given yearEstimate carries so strong an implication from its more common sense (see ESTIMATE) of an evaluation based on one's experience and good judgment that even when it implies careful calculation or computation it still connotes a result that is not necessarily exact but approximates the exact result; for he who*estimates*deals with data or figures that are to some extent unsatisfactory. Hence*estimate*is preferred to*calculate*and*compute*when the cost of a piece of work to be done is computed at present prices{a contractor's bid on a projected building is based on its

}*estimated*cost to him{a printer

}*estimates*a printing job when he names the price he will probably ask for doing itReckon is used in place of*compute*and usually connotes simpler mathematical processes especially such as can be carried on in one's head or aided by the use of counters{

}*reckon*the cost of a trip to the city{

}*reckon*the number of eggs laid by the hens during the month__Contrasted words:__guess, *conjecture, surmise

*New Dictionary of Synonyms.
2014.*