abacus defined in 1939 yearabacus - Abacus (Lat. abacus, Gr. abax, slab, board);
abacus - Mechanical contrivance for facilitating arithmetical calculations. It consists of an oblong wooden frame with several wires stretched across it lengthwise. Ten beads are strung upon each wire to allow full play for moving them into different positions and combinations. The abacus of ancient Greece and Rome survives in the Russian shckoti, the Chinese swanpan, and in Japan. The name was given by the Romans to a board strewn with sand for use with a stilus; in mathematical drawing, to a dice-board, and to a side-board.
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abacus defined in 1939 yearabacus - Abacus;
abacus - Architectural term for the uppermost member of the capital of a column. In an isolated column it might be round, or square, or polygonal, but in columns carrying an entablature it was rectangular except in columns of the Ionic order, in which it was slightly scalloped to cover the corner volutes. Examples of such variations from the rectangular form occur in the Erechtheum and the Mausoleum. Medieval builders modified the abacus. In French Gothic it is mostly square; in Early English, circular; though at Canterbury, where French influence is obvious, it is square. See Architecture.
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