[Ads-l] Antedating of "Calculus"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Sep 6 11:37:44 UTC 2021

Despite the very ambitious updating projects of the late 20th century and the 21st century, there are many entries in the OED that have remained in their first-edition state.  One extreme example of an important term that has waited well over a century to be updated is the mathematical meaning of the word "calculus."  This OED entry was last edited in 1888.  Below is an antedating of this term.

calculus (OED, 3., 1672)

1666 Philosophical Transactions I. 292 (JSTOR)  What he saith here of Rations or Proportiions, and their Calculus ... is but the same for substance, what he had formerly said in his 4th. Dialogue, and elsewhere.

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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