Simple Definition of proximate
: coming or happening immediately before or after something in a way that shows a very close and direct relationship
Examples of proximate in a sentence
the proximate cause of the fire
<the proximate publication of his first novel>
Did You Know?
You can approach a better understanding of this word, and an approximation of its history, if you recognize its two cousins in this sentence. Proximate derives from Latin proximatus, itself the past participle of the verb proximare, meaning "to approach." The noun "approximation" and both the noun and verb "approximate" derive from "proximare" (via the Late Latin verb approximare). "Proximare," in turn, comes from "proximus" ("nearest, next") and can be traced back to the adjective prope, meaning "near." "Prope" is also an ancestor of the English verb "approach," as well as "proximity," "propinquity," and "reproach."
Origin of proximate
Latin proximatus, past participle of proximare to approach, from proximus nearest, next, superl. of prope near — more at approach
First Known Use: 1661
Legal Definition of proximate
1 : next immediately preceding or following (as in a chain of causation, events, or effects) : being or leading to a particular esp. foreseeable result without intervention — see also proximate cause at cause 1
2 : very or relatively close or near <would be sufficiently proximate to the commencement of the defendant's trial — Johnson v. New Jersey, 384 U.S. 719 (1966)>
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