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Compute

To Calculate a problem.

Computer, Computer, Computation

Etymology

From Latin con- + putare, 'to think, reckon' from the Indo-European peue, 'to cut, strike, stamp.' Latin putare has various meanings including 'to prune, clean, settle an account, think over, reflect, consider,' and gives rise to compute, putative, dispute, depute (deputy) , and repute (reputation).

In French, compute is reduced to 'compte, (cf. old computing device trademark “Comptometer”) and conte, whence our count, and account (even in sense of ‘story’), and accountable, recount (even in the sense of ‘tell a story’). (For the parallel of computation with storytelling, cf. bank teller.)

The word computer existed long before electronic computers, and referred originally to people whose job it was to perform computational tasks (e.g., in accounting or science).

Related mathematical terms

Count

Other related words

deputy, reputation, dispute, account(able), recount.