back-of-the-envelope calculation

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back-of-the-envelope calculation

A calculation or mathematical formulation that is approximated in a quick, informal, and rough manner, as might be sketched out on a scrap of paper (such as the back of an envelope). When it came time to pay the bill, we had to do some back-of-the-envelope calculations to figure out who owed how much.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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