1. count; computation; calculation.
  2. the settlement of accounts, as between two companies.
  3. a statement of an amount due; bill.
  4. an accounting, as for things received or done.
  5. an appraisal or judgment.
  6. Navigation. dead reckoning.
  7. day of reckoning.

verb (used with object)

  1. to count, compute, or calculate, as in number or amount.
  2. to esteem or consider; regard as: to be reckoned an authority in the field.
  3. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. to think or suppose.

verb (used without object)

  1. to count; make a computation or calculation.
  2. to settle accounts, as with a person (often followed by up).
  3. to count, depend, or rely, as in expectation (often followed by on).
  4. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. to think or suppose.

Verb Phrases

  1. reckon with,
    1. to include in consideration or planning; anticipate: He hadn’t reckoned with so many obstacles.
    2. to deal with: I have to reckon with many problems every day.


  1. the act of counting or calculating
  2. settlement of an account or bill
  3. a bill or account
  4. retribution for one’s actions (esp in the phrase day of reckoning)
  5. nautical short for dead reckoning


  1. to calculate or ascertain by calculating; compute
  2. (tr) to include; count as part of a set or classI reckon her with the angels
  3. (usually passive) to consider or regardhe is reckoned clever
  4. (when tr, takes a clause as object) to think or suppose; be of the opinionI reckon you don’t know where to go next
  5. (intr foll by with) to settle accounts (with)
  6. (intr ; foll by with or without) to take into account or fail to take into accountthe bully reckoned without John’s big brother
  7. (intr ; foll by on or upon) to rely or dependI reckon on your support in this crisis
  8. (tr) slang to regard as goodI don’t reckon your chances of success
  9. (tr) informal to have a high opinion ofshe was sensitive to bad reviews, even from people she did not reckon
  10. to be reckoned with of considerable importance or influence

early 14c., “narrative, account,” verbal noun from reckon (v.). Meaning “a settling of accounts” is from mid-14c.; that of “calculation” is from late 14c. Cf. Dutch rekening “a bill, account, reckoning,” Old High German rechenunga, German rechnung, Danish regning “a reckoning, computation.” Day of reckoning attested from c.1600.


c.1200, recenen, from Old English gerecenian “to explain, relate, recount,” from West Germanic *(ga)rekenojanan (cf. Old Frisian rekenia, Middle Dutch and Dutch rekenen, Old High German rehhanon, German rechnen, Gothic rahnjan “to count, reckon”), from Proto-Germanic *rakinaz “ready, straightforward,” from PIE *reg- “to move in a straight line,” with derivatives meaning “direct in a straight line, rule” (see regal).

Intransitive sense “make a computation” is from c.1300. In I reckon, the sense is “hold an impression or opinion,” and the expression, used parenthetically, dates from c.1600 and formerly was in literary use (Richardson, etc.), but came to be associated with U.S. Southern dialect and was regarded as provincial or vulgar. Related: Reckoned; reckoning.

In addition to the idiom beginning with reckon

  • reckon with

also see:

  • force to be reckoned with

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