Definition of calculating in US English:



  • Acting in a scheming and ruthlessly determined way.

    ‘he was a coolly calculating, ruthless man’
    • ‘Strydom was at his shrewd and most calculating best.’
    • ‘They're cunning, they're devious, they're calculating.’
    • ‘It is difficult to judge a man as calculating when he seems so natural.’
    • ‘When viewers meet her, Claire is a determined, rather calculating career woman, an ambitious lawyer working for the Prosecution Service.’
    • ‘The movie presents her not just as ambitious talent; we also see the shrewdly calculating side that propelled her into the spotlight.’
    • ‘At one extreme, imagine genetically engineered minds devoid of conscience or empathy and at the same time highly calculating and ruthless in the pursuit of their own desires.’
    • ‘Indeed, I am concerned that without such a change the whole bill looks more cynical and calculating than the Minister probably intends.’
    • ‘This is not the undertaking of a benevolent nation helping another in the spirit of friendship and trust, but a cold calculating act designed to crush the human spirit and bring about the death of hope.’
    • ‘So our military has to be very shrewd, very calculating and I think that they are laying out those plans.’
    • ‘Mrs Cunningham gave me a calculating look over my sketchpad that was filled with spite and dislike.’
    • ‘Whatever the reason, his public persona seems guarded and calculating and his repeated protestations of humility usually fall flat.’
    • ‘Clearly the robots take the long-term view on this one, as they would, what with being utilitarian calculating machines designed for the preservation of life.’
    • ‘Likewise, the promotion of the controversy by national manufacturers' associations has been calculating and disingenuous.’
    • ‘I was quite struck by the image used for that tour, because it does not seem an accident, it seems very well designed in a calculating fashion.’
    • ‘He paused for a moment, with a spreading calculating smile designed to draw the others in.’
    • ‘There's something very calculating and manipulative about how he does things.’
    • ‘Both of these ladies bided their time and proved to be quite calculating and ruthless.’
    • ‘It was decidedly hard to do with Mr Cunningham's cold, judging, calculating eyes were staring at us.’
    • ‘Mr Latham said it suggested ‘a devious and calculating mind well able to think about what he needed to do to distract attention away from himself’.’
    • ‘Underneath the mane of blonde hair was a ruthless calculating brain.’
    cunning, crafty, wily, shrewd, scheming, devious, designing, conniving, manipulative, machiavellian, artful, guileful, slippery, slick, sly, disingenuous, unscrupulous
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