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abacus

An ancient device for performing arithmetic calculations by sliding beads along rods or in grooves. Despite the spread of electronic calculators and computers, the abacus is still widely ...

abacus

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Mathematics (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014

... A counting device consisting of rods on which beads can be moved so as to represent numbers. http://abacus.etherwork.net/Lee/ A description of how one abacus...

abacus

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The Oxford Dictionary of Christian Art and Architecture (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Art & Architecture, Religion
Length:
46 words

... A flat block of masonry on the top of a capital , which is the transition from the capital to the architrave. In the Doric Order ( see order ) the abacus is undecorated; in the Ionic and Corinthian Orders, the abacus has decorative...

abacus

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A Dictionary of Accounting (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Social sciences, Business and Management
Length:
34 words

... An ancient device for performing arithmetic calculations by sliding beads along rods or in grooves. Despite the spread of electronic calculators and computers, the abacus is still widely used in the Far...

abacus

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Archaeology, History
Length:
37 words

... [Ar] The uppermost member of a capital, set atop a pillar, and, on classical buildings, in contact with the bottom of the entablature . The abacus resembles in form the flat slab on which it was...

abacus

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A Dictionary of Construction, Surveying and Civil Engineering (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020

... In classical architecture, the flat uppermost slab at the top of the capital of a...

abacus

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The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)
Length:
144 words

... . The abacus uses counters to carry out operations in arithmetic. In the Renaissance the instrument usually took the form of a board with lines to mark the positions for counters. More recent instruments use beads on strings or rods, but the principle is the same. In western Europe, the use of the abacus was eventually replaced by written methods of calculation. Probably because the mathematics involved was elementary, the abacus lent its name to elementary instruction in mathematics. See abacus schools . In architecture, the term abacus was (and is...

abacus

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The Oxford Companion to the Mind (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Science and technology, Psychology, Philosophy
Length:
230 words

...if fingers were like screwdrivers, we would not need screwdrivers, so, if the brain worked like an abacus, bead-counters would not be so helpful. But perhaps the abacus serves as a memory. Our language reflects the importance of the abacus throughout history. The word ‘calculate’ comes from the Latin word for a pebble, and the term ‘Exchequer’ derives from the chequered table on which counters or jettons were moved to reckon the nation's accounts (the abacus continued to be used for British governmental accounting into the 18th century). The mechanical...

abacus

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Anthony Quiney

The Oxford Companion to Architecture

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
60 words

... A flat slab forming the top of a capital, with a different shape for each order . The abacus probably originated in primitive classical architecture, built from timber, as a means of protecting the vertical grain of the posts from the weather and their consequent tendency to split, and became formalized when stone was substituted for timber. Anthony...

abacus

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
68 words

... The slab at the top of a capital which supports the entablature above. In the classical Orders the Greek Doric abacus is a thick square slab; in Greek Ionic , Tuscan , Roman Doric and Ionic it is square with a moulded lower edge; and in the Corinthian and Composite it has concave sides with the corners cut...

abacus

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World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
31 words

... Mathematical tool used since ancient times in the Middle and Far East for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. One form consists of beads strung on wires and arranged in...

Abacus

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A Dictionary of Travel and Tourism

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Social sciences
Length:
80 words

... 1. Formerly Mycrom Computers Ltd British travel agents’ computerized data accounting and ticketing system. See also Andromeda . 2. A GDS (Global Distribution Service) serving the Far East, based in Singapore. Abacus International is owned by a consortium of Asia's leading airlines including All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, EVA Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Dragonair, Philippine Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, SilkAir, and Singapore Airlines. Abacus is now backed by US-owned Sabre , although it was formerly...

Abacus

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Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

... A counting device that traditionally consists of a frame holding rods on which ten beads can slide. One rod represents units, the next tens, the next hundreds and so on. The abacus is still in regular use in eastern countries, and in China it is known as hsüan pan , ‘computing tray’. Its English name comes from Greek abax , a term for a board covered with sand on which calculations could be traced, itself probably from a Semitic word related to Hebrew ābhāk , ‘dust’. The multiplication table invented by pythagoras is called Abacus Pythagoricus. See...

abacus

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Encyclopedia of Semiotics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Language reference, Linguistics
Length:
452 words

...the actual items. The abacus method of reckoning also allows one to perform operations on virtual quantities irrespective of whether or not these quantities correspond to real objects. The word calculus comes from the Latin word for pebble and refers to the use of pebbles in the earliest forms of abacus reckoning. Versions of the abacus small enough to be held in one hand have been found in Roman archaeological sites. It is in such form, on various scale, that the abacus was used until the advent of modern calculators. This kind of abacus consists of a frame...

Abacus

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The Grove Encyclopedia of Classical Art and Architecture

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Art & Architecture, Classical studies
Length:
39 words

... . Uppermost element of a capital on a column or pilaster. On the Doric, Ionic and Tuscan orders of architecture it is square in plan, but on the Corinthian each face is convex ( see Architecture , and Orders, architectural ,...

abacus

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A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
77 words

... ( pl . abaci ) 1. Flat-topped plate or tailloir , the upper member of a column capital supporting the architrave . The Greek – Doric abacus is the simplest, consisting of a square unmoulded block, called plinthus , but abaci vary with each Order . 2. Flat slab supported on a podium or legs, used as a sideboard or for the display of plate, etc., in Antiquity. 3. Panel on an Antique ...

abacus

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William David Ross and Michael Vickers

The Oxford Classical Dictionary (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
102 words

... ( ἄβαξ , ἀβάκιον ) , a counting-board, the usual aid to reckoning in antiquity. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans alike used a board with vertical columns, on which (working from right to left) units, tens, hundreds, or (where money was in question) e.g. ⅛ obols, ¼ obols, ½ obols, obols, drachmae, sums of 10, 100, 1,000 drachmae, and talents were inscribed. When an addition sum was done, the totals of the columns were carried to the left, as in our ordinary addition. The numbers might be marked in writing or by pebbles, counters, or pegs. William David...

Abacus

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Margaret SANKEY

Berkshire Encyclopedia of China

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016

...Abacus Suànpán 算盘 ‎ The abacus, or counting plate ( suan pan ), is a manual computing device used since ancient times in China as well as in a number of ancient civilizations. The Latin word abacus has its roots in the Greek word abax , meaning slab, which itself might have originated in the Semitic term for sand. In its early Greek and Latin forms the abacus was said to be a flat surface covered with sand in which marks were made with a stylus and pebbles. The Chinese abacus as we know it today evolved to become a frame holding thirteen vertical...

abacus schools

abacus schools   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)
Length:
404 words

... schools . From the late thirteenth century onwards, many towns and guilds paid an ‘abacus master’ to teach mathematics to a given number of boys who intended to engage in commerce or the crafts. There were also private abacus schools, in all of which teaching was in the vernacular. Such schools are best documented in Tuscany, but similar developments seem to have occurred elsewhere. With the rise of international banking and the growth of commerce, the usefulness of mathematics was becoming increasingly obvious. The schools have no direct connection with...

abacus

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Language reference, History of English
Length:
9 words

... XVI. — L. abacus , f. Gr. ábax , abak- ...

ABACUS

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A Dictionary of Abbreviations

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Encyclopedias, Language reference
Length:
7 words

... Air Battle Analysis Center Utility...

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