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definition of the word abacus

by the Wiktionnary

Entered English circa 16th century. Latin abacus, abax; from Greek ἄβαξ ('a`bax) (board covered with sand), from Hebrew אבק (āvāq) (dust).

Singular
abacus

Plural
abacuses or abaci

abacus (plural abacuses or abaci) (considered pedantic)

  1. (obsolete) A table or tray strewn with sand, anciently used for drawing, calculating, etc.
  2. A calculating table or frame; an instrument for performing arithmetical calculations by balls sliding on wires, or counters in grooves, the lowest line representing units, the second line, tens, etc.
    I've heard merchants still use an abacus for adding things up in China.
  3. (architecture) The uppermost member or division of the capital of a column, immediately under the architrave.
  4. (archaic) A tablet, panel, or compartment in ornamented or mosaic work.
  5. A board, tray, or table, divided into perforated compartments, for holding cups, bottles, or the like; a kind of cupboard, buffet, or sideboard.

Definition from Wiktionary
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