Definition of calculus in US English:

calculus

noun

  • 1The branch of mathematics that deals with the finding and properties of derivatives and integrals of functions, by methods originally based on the summation of infinitesimal differences. The two main types are differential calculus and integral calculus.

    • ‘Each level of expression contributed to the next, and over the course of millennia we created mathematical theory, from basic arithmetic to algebra, from calculus to fractal geometry.’
    • ‘William's father wrote a number of successful textbooks on arithmetic, calculus and trigonometry, which brought in a comfortable income for the family.’
    • ‘Shtokalo worked mainly in the areas of differential equations, operational calculus and the history of mathematics.’
    • ‘He worked on the four colour problem and also published books on calculus, differential equations, complex variable and Fourier series.’
    • ‘During that year Moore also set about reading calculus because he enjoyed mathematics and wanted to extend his studies.’
    • ‘There he taught courses on analytic functions and functional calculus.’
    • ‘The very fact that calculus is so effective, and the wealth of functions to which calculus may be applied, sometimes lulls the careless into thinking that all functions appear to become straight under magnification.’
    • ‘There is also a whole field of mathematics called ‘complex analysis’ which studies functions and calculus on the complex plane rather than real numbers.’
    • ‘All this depended in turn on mathematical progress, notably calculus developed by Newton and Leibniz, which allowed for actuarial calculations.’
    • ‘We must make the course accessible to students whose common background includes only the freshman and sophomore courses in calculus and differential equations.’
    • ‘The Dutch clockmaker's discovery was all the more striking because he arrived at his results before the advent of the calculus of Newton and Leibniz.’
    • ‘Newton was one of the inventors of the branch of mathematics called calculus.’
    • ‘The stakes were high: calculus changed mathematics in a fundamental way, and its inventor would forever be remembered for this feat.’
    • ‘His work is almost exclusively on calculus, in particular differential equations and functions of a real variable.’
    • ‘There are shorter methods for summing an infinite number of terms in calculus and other branches of advanced mathematics.’
    • ‘He made decisive and formative contributions to geometry, calculus and number theory.’
    • ‘Simion was soon teaching college-level courses such as multivariate calculus and differential equations to the most advanced math students.’
    • ‘Continuity is the mathematics of calculus and physics but there's never been a theory of computation that deals with this continuum.’
    • ‘Indians also added to our knowledge of even more complicated branches of mathematics such as trigonometry and calculus.’
    • ‘Laplace called probability theory ‘the calculus of inductive reasoning.’’
    • ‘By integrating the function using calculus we can compare the sum of the series with the integral of the function and draw conclusions from this.’
    • ‘He became a physics major but differential equations and calculus just didn't excite him.’
  • 2A particular method or system of calculation or reasoning.

    • ‘This discussion is kept concise by the use of an elegant calculus of closure operations on group properties.’
    • ‘Therefore, the calculus of benefits and harms has changed.’
    • ‘In the final calculus of course, these are issues that are best settled empirically.’
    • ‘Reading the whipping as a text, we see a stark contrast between the calculus that determined the use of the whip under slavery and the orgy of violence that Moore was alleged to have endured.’
    • ‘Each such language, he holds, includes analytic rules which provide a calculus for reasoning and a conceptual framework for describing its subject-matter.’
    • ‘Choosing organ recipients amidst such shortages has been called ‘a grim calculus.’’
    • ‘Above all else, the mammoth South Asian fan base needs to start seeing cricket as a pursuit of shared enjoyment, not as a calculus of honour and shame.’
    • ‘This is, I think, the moral calculus at the heart of the argument, a calculus that folks on that side of the cultural divide very much want to preserve.’
    • ‘Expectation is an experiential calculus through which the abstracted possibilities of the event are rendered subculturally consistent.’
    • ‘I've sat in on these liver distribution meetings, and it's a grim calculus.’
    • ‘Some utilitarians think that everything can be reduced to a rational calculus of pleasures or pains; most of the rest of us do not.’
  • 3Medicine
    A concretion of minerals formed within the body, especially in the kidney or gallbladder.

    ‘biliary calculi’
    • ‘Ultrasonography can detect stones at the vesicoureteric junction but cannot easily show the normal ureter or ureteric calculi in other positions; it can, however, show any secondary dilatation of the pelvicaliceal system.’
    • ‘Depending on where they are located, kidney stones are also known as renal calculi, urinary calculi, urinary tract stone disease, nephrolithiasis, urolithiasis, and ureterolithiasis.’
    • ‘Studies report that only about 10 percent of these patients develop biliary symptoms, leading to the wait-and-see policy of performing cholecystectomy only if the calculi become symptomatic.’
    • ‘Urologic causes of hematuria include tumors, calculi, and infections.’
    • ‘Key elements include past or family history of calculi, duration and evolution of symptoms, and signs or symptoms of sepsis.’
    • ‘Stones (also called calculi, pronounced: cal-kyoo-lie) can also form after an infection.’
    • ‘Finally, the easily distracted Laputians could converse only if a servant constantly held their attention by ‘flapping’ their mouths and ears with an inflated bladder, containing a few calculi, and fastened to a stick.’
    • ‘Approximately 50 percent of patients with previous urinary calculi have a recurrence within 10 years.’
    • ‘Such interactions are currently being used for laser assisted shock-wave lithotripsy for calculi in the biliary tree.’
    • ‘The gallbladder was without calculi or fibrosis.’
    • ‘A small study found a significant rise in urinary oxalate levels, prompting a caution that regular use of cranberry may increase the risk of kidney stone formation in patients with a history of oxalate calculi.’
    • ‘Non-infectious causes include salivary calculi, tumours, sarcoid, Sjögren's syndrome, ingestion of starch or thiazides, and iodine sensitivity.’
    • ‘Key words used included kidney stones, urinary calculi, urolithiasis, urinary tract stones, and nephrolithiasis.’
    • ‘Dysuria can also be caused by noninfectious inflammation or trauma, neoplasm, calculi, hypoestrogenism, interstitial cystitis, or psychogenic disorders.’
    • ‘There was extensive but patchy acinar atrophy and parenchymal fibrosis, but no evidence of fat necrosis, pseudocyst formation, or calculi.’
    • ‘Urinalysis is invaluable in the diagnosis of urologic conditions such as calculi, urinary tract infection, and malignancy.’
    • ‘If stones are present, they appear as radiolucent or radiopaque calculi within the gallbladder.’
    • ‘Advances in ureteroscopic techniques now allow calculi that are not good candidates for extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy or percutaneous nephrolithotomy to be treated virtually anywhere within the ureter or kidney.’
    • ‘An ultrasound of the abdomen revealed a gallbladder completely full of calculi.’
    • ‘Mechanical percussion techniques have been used therapeutically after shock wave lithotripsy to dislodge such calculi from the lower pole of the kidney.’
    1. 3.1
      another term for tartar
      • ‘It is thought that the catheter balloons burst as they were pushed against the calculus as the bladder contracted during bladder emptying.’
      • ‘However, in this case the trauma sustained to the lumbar region probably dislodged a calculus from the renal parenchyma into the left ureter.’
      • ‘Once calculus has formed you cannot remove this yourself and is essential that your dentist or hygienist carries out scaling for you on a regular basis.’
      • ‘If plaque is not regularly removed the flora evolves, and plaque may calcify, forming calculus (tartar).’
      • ‘The calculus may be extracted through the fistula site and if needed, sialodochotomy could help in delivering the calculus to the oral cavity.’
      • ‘The most likely cause of retrieval failure was that the calculus was fixed to the duct wall.’
      • ‘The calculus is rough and causes plaque to accumulate more rapidly increasing the problem.’
      • ‘In all other patients, including those in whom a urinary calculus is not detected, intravenous contrast medium should be injected.’

Origin

Mid 17th century: from Latin, literally ‘small pebble (as used on an abacus)’.

Pronunciation

calculus

/ˈkalkyələs//ˈkælkjələs/