An abacus is an ancient tool used for calculating that remains popular in some places even today. Some sort of counter (beads, beans, stones) is moved in a groove or on a wire to represent the different numbers in the equation.

Abacus is a Latin word from a Greek word abax, which meant "counting table." The original abaci were created in sand. The plural abacuses can also be used. In architecture, an abacus can also refer to a flat slab that sits on top of the broad part of a pillar or column (called the capital) to help support a beam (called an architrave) that rests across several pillars.

Definitions of abacus
  1. noun
    a calculator that performs arithmetic functions by manually sliding counters on rods or in grooves
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    type of:
    calculating machine, calculator
    a small machine that is used for mathematical calculations
  2. noun
    a tablet placed horizontally on top of the capital of a column as an aid in supporting the architrave
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    type of:
    a slab of stone or wood suitable for bearing an inscription
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