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See also: computé



17th century. Borrowed from French computer, from Latin computō (calculate, compute). Doublet of count.


  • enPR: kəm-pyo͞ot', IPA(key): /kəmˈpjuːt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: com‧pute
  • Rhymes: -uːt


compute (third-person singular simple present computes, present participle computing, simple past and past participle computed)

  1. (transitive) To reckon or calculate.
    Can anyone here compute the square root of 10201?
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book VI”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 680–687:
      Effulgence of my Glorie, Son belov’d, / Son in whoſe face inviſible is beheld / Viſibly, what by Deitie I am, / And in whoſe hand what by Decree I doe, / Second Omnipotence, two dayes are paſt, / Two dayes, as we compute the dayes of Heav’n, / Since Michael and his Powers went forth to tame / Theſe diſobedient []
    • 1913, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Poison Belt[1]:
      "When we have ascertained exactly how little will serve we shall be able to compute how long we shall be able to exist."
    • 2018, Clarence Green; James Lambert, “Advancing disciplinary literacy through English for academic purposes: Discipline-specific wordlists, collocations and word families for eight secondary subjects”, in Journal of English for Academic Purposes, volume 35, DOI:, page 112:
      Coxhead (2000) computed that the AWL covered approximately 10% of the academic corpus from which it was derived[.]
  2. (intransitive, informal) To make sense (commonly used in mimicry of a science fictional robot and spoken in a robotic voice; most frequently in negative contexts).
    Does that compute, or do I need to explain further?
    • 1967 August 2, The Australian Women's Weekly, page 46, column 2:
      And you'd feel an utter fool if, when you asked where the biscuit was, a message came out: "Biscuits do not compute. Your wife programmed your diet."
    • 1977 December 15, The Canberra Times, page 15, column 3:
      Guitarist Chris Stein is also against defining the music. When he sees a reporter with a notebook backstage after a concert he does robot impersonations saying, 'What is punk rock? What is punk rock? Brurruph, burruph, does not compute.'

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


compute (uncountable)

  1. (computing, informal) computational power
    • 2015, J. Powell, Mastering vRealize Automation 6.2 (page 41)
      Once you have the total, does it exceed the maximum amount of compute that can be served up in your vCenter environment? It is quite normal for users to consume everything you provide.
    • 2016, Joe Baron, Hisham Baz, Tim Bixler, AWS Certified Solutions Architect Official Study Guide: Associate Exam
      To change the amount of compute and memory, you can select a different DB Instance class of the database.

Further reading[edit]




  1. first-person singular present indicative of computer
  2. third-person singular present indicative of computer
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of computer
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of computer
  5. second-person singular imperative of computer




  1. First-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of computar
  2. Third-person singular (ele, ela, also used with tu and você?) present subjunctive of computar
  3. Third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of computar
  4. Third-person singular (você) negative imperative of computar




  1. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of computar.
  2. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of computar.
  3. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of computar.
  4. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of computar.