The Meaning of Reckoning: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of reckoning? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word reckoning, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word reckoning mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word reckoning is commonly used in the phrase day of reckoning. This means an act of retribution for one’s actions or unpleasant truths and misdeeds/past mistakes, but can also mean the act of counting or calculating, or the settlement of the statement of an account or bill, the settlement of accounts, the settlement of obligations or the adjustment of claims. This noun is also rarely used in the nautical term dead reckoning. This word is also used for the calculation of a ship’s position, either from astronomical observations, as well as from the record of the courses steered and distances sailed as shown by compass and log navigation. In the latter case, the position of a ship or aircraft as a result of reckoning can result in a recount of change of conduct on account of time.

According to Definitions, Reckoning is also the second album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., which was released in 1984 by I.R.S. Records. This album was produced by Mitch Easter and Don Dixon, the album was recorded in Charlotte, North Carolina with singer Michael Stipe over 16 days between December 1983 and January 1984. They tried to capture the sound of R.E.M.’s live performances, and used binaural recording on several tracks, and had critical acclaim, being certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1991 and peaking at number 91 in the United Kingdom. It can also refer to an integral, the result of a mathematical integration which means that F(x) is the integral of f(x) if dF/dx = f(x).

Many different languages also use words that mean reckoning. You may notice that some of these look and sound similar to the word reckoning. These cognates are formed when words have a similar origin or root. This list of translations of reckoning is provided by Word Sense but you could also find translations in a digital edition of a dictionary or bilingual dictionaries.

  •  Serbo-Croatian: obračun‎ (masc.)
  •  Russian: расчёт‎ (masc.), подсчёт‎ (masc.), вычисле́ние‎ (neut.), счёт‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: laskelmointi‎
  •  Polish: rozliczenie‎ (neut.)
  •  Esperanto: kalkulo‎
  •  French: calculer‎, estimer‎
  •  Scottish Gaelic: cunntadh‎ (masc.)

What are synonyms and antonyms of reckoning?

There is a vast collection of many different words that can be used in place of the word reckoning, which are known as synonyms. Synonyms are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are very useful to know if you are looking to expand your vocabulary or if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word reckoning is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  compute
  •  summation
  •  conjecture
  •  totaling
  •  figure
  •  summing
  •  check
  •  addition
  •  reason
  •  charge
  •  rating
  •  view
  •  enumeration
  •  surmise
  •  judgment
  •  evaluation
  •  estimation
  •  debt
  •  under control of
  •  total
  •  consideration
  •  figuring
  •  register
  •  supposing
  •  calculations
  •  approximate calculation
  •  logic
  •  arithmetic
  •  balance
  •  believe
  •  inference
  •  retribution
  •  judgement
  •  considered opinion
  •  computation
  •  incidental to
  •  mathematics
  •  consider
  •  judging
  •  count
  •  calculating
  •  statement
  •  account
  •  ciphering
  •  sum
  •  assessment
  •  fate
  •  acumen
  •  estimating
  •  appraisement
  •  calculation
  •  accounting
  •  estimate
  •  counting up
  •  counting
  •  tallying
  •  toting
  •  guessing
  •  bill
  •  invoice
  •  repayment
  •  numbering
  •  suppose
  •  appraising
  •  adding
  •  wages
  •  score
  •  settlement
  •  totalling
  •  running total
  •  reward
  •  balancing the books
  •  valuation
  •  requital
  •  belief
  •  inventory
  •  tab
  •  guesstimate
  •  tally
  •  conclusion
  •  speculation
  •  vengeance
  •  guess
  •  computing
  •  extrapolation
  •  numeration
  •  appraisal
  •  supposition
  •  anticipate
  •  processing
  •  prediction
  •  gauging
  •  compensation
  •  totting up
  •  adding up
  •  contradistinction
  •  relying
  •  doom
  •  opinion
  •  measurement
  •  calculus

There are also numerous different words that are the opposite of the word reckoning, which are called antonyms. Antonyms are also very useful to know if you are trying to expand your vocabulary and knowledge of the English language. This list of antonyms for the word reckoning is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  disgust
  •  disfavour
  •  brush-off
  •  bane
  •  disbelieving
  •  abuse
  •  breach
  •  displeasure
  •  disinterest
  •  ignoring
  •  computing
  •  disfavor
  •  disliking
  •  contravention
  •  bypassing
  •  detestation
  •  anathema
  •  animosity
  •  breaching
  •  antagonism
  •  contempt
  •  anger
  •  disapproval
  •  aversion
  •  discrediting
  •  abhorrence
  •  dislike
  •  overlooking
  •  disinclination
  •  antipathy
  •  disregarding
  •  default
  •  carelessness
  •  dereliction
  •  callousness
  •  disobedience
  •  neglecting
  •  calibrating
  •  animus
  •  final answer
  •  disregards
  •  contrary
  •  certainty
  •  disapprobation
  •  defiance
  •  denial
  •  disdain
  •  disesteem
  •  breaking
  •  apathy

How can the word reckoning be used in a sentence?

There are many ways that the word reckoning can be used in a sentence in the English language. Using new words in a sentence is a great way to incorporate new lingo into your vocabulary. You can also try making flashcards and quizzes that test your knowledge of the definitions of different English words. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are several different examples of ways in which the word reckoning can be used in the English language to help get your started with using this word. 

In the tavern and inn, the player on the football team at Princeton University was reckoning with the fact that he would not be able to play come January and would have to cancel his spot on the team. He listened to the lyrics on the album playing and became sad,

Silva’s reckoning with the host came to a head at the dinner. Don and Charlotte, the property owners, were trying to pass off the statement of a sum due on her but she would not let the smoke trick her. They would not find a middle ground, and she would fight this.

Water imagery was a recurring theme on the album and in live performances at Reflection Sound Studio. The sound engineer had a reckoning with himself while looking at the itemized bill.

The United States politician had a reckoning with the counting of votes in the close election. There could be no approximation here, it had to be exact.

Overall, the word reckoning means retribution or the approximate calculation of a quantity. This popular eighth grade vocabulary word might be seen on an eighth grade vocab quiz. 


  1. reckoning: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. Reckoning synonyms – 1 021 Words and Phrases for Reckoning | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Reckoning antonyms – 341 Opposites of Reckoning | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Reckoning definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  5. What does reckoning mean? | Definitions