Definition of compute in English:



  • 1 Reckon or calculate (a figure or amount)

    ‘the hire charge is computed on a daily basis’
    • ‘We computed the weighted average values for the above variables for the 20 Hungarian counties.’
    • ‘However, the same weights are applied in computing percentages for both states.’
    • ‘My brain couldn't compute exactly what it was I was seeing.’
    • ‘The stem elongation was recorded every second and the software computed an average value every 60 measurements.’
    • ‘Most often when we compute a correlation coefficient between two variables, we take observations on both variables.’
    • ‘To compute an average of these standards, we first determined a single value for each.’
    • ‘They may be able to compute figures in their heads with lightning speed or display a remarkable memory for dates.’
    • ‘When you're done, you count up the number of cognates and compute the fraction of words that are cognate.’
    • ‘A turing machine can compute anything computable, given sufficient time.’
    • ‘We created an index of desire by computing the average of the numeric responses to these two items.’
    • ‘The assistant clerk computes the figures and presents his tally to the chief clerk, who examines the calculations before initialing them.’
    • ‘We also computed the optimal samples of each size using integer programming.’
    • ‘You can borrow my brother's calculator to compute the compound interest if you need it.’
    • ‘After the pharmacist enters the required information, the Framingham risk calculator computes a patient's 10-year cardiac risk level and depicts the results graphically.’
    • ‘To reduce measurement error, this instrument takes three readings and computes an average.’
    • ‘For each participant, we computed a gamma coefficient specific to items that participants had failed in the first recall test.’
    • ‘The calculator computes your family's contribution to climate change and determines how many trees you must plant to offset your actions.’
    • ‘From these counts we computed the fraction of correct detections among all detections.’
    • ‘Then we use the Fisher calculation to compute an overall probability for the whole set of words.’
    • ‘For each genome and each kind of bias, we compute a correlation coefficient that expresses the strength of the bias for the genome.’
    calculate, work out, reckon, figure, enumerate, determine, evaluate, assess, quantify, put a figure on
    add up, add together, count up, tally, total, totalize
    tot up
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal [no object, with negative]Seem reasonable; make sense.
      ‘the idea of a woman alone in a pub did not compute’
      • ‘They do not compute, and more importantly, who can relate to someone who makes almost $97,000 a day?’
      • ‘Sadly, when it comes to my pocketbook these days, that does not compute.’


Early 17th century: from French computer or Latin computare, from com- together + putare to settle (an account).