Definition of abacus noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈæbəkəs//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈæbəkəs//
(pl. abacuses
BrE BrE//ˈæbəkəsɪz//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈæbəkəsɪz//
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a frame with small balls which slide along wires. It is used as a tool or toy for counting. Word Originlate Middle English (denoting a board strewn with sand on which to draw figures): from Latin, from Greek abax, abak- ‘slab, drawing board’, of Semitic origin; probably related to Hebrew 'āb̲āq ‘dust’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: abacus