Definition of abacus :
1. A board, tray, or table, divided into perforated compartments, for holding cups, bottles, or the like; a kind of cupboard, buffet, or sideboard.
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. It is still employed in China.
3. A table or tray strewn with sand, anciently used for drawing, calculating, etc.
4. A tablet, panel, or compartment in ornamented or mosaic work.
5. The uppermost member or division of the capital of a column, immediately under the architrave. See Column.
calculator (part of speech: noun)
- The invention of it I think may fairly be attributed to the Chinese; though it has been compared, how justly I cannot pretend to say, to the Roman abacus. - "Travels in China, Containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey through the Country from Pekin to Canton", John Barrow.
- Is it a coincidence that the Greeks used an abacus, or counting- board, on which the beads slid up and down in vertical grooves, while on the Chinese counting- board the only difference is that the beads slide up and down on vertical rods? - "China and the Chinese", Herbert Allen Giles.
- Bubnov holds that the forms first found in Europe are derived from ancient symbols used on the abacus, but that the zero is of Hindu origin. - "The Hindu-Arabic Numerals", David Eugene Smith Louis Charles Karpinski.