approach

verb
ap·​proach | \ ə-ˈprōch How to pronounce approach (audio) \
approached; approaching; approaches

Definition of approach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to draw closer to : near approach a destination
b : to come very near to : to be almost the same as … its mathematics approaches mysticism.— Theodore Sturgeon as the quantity x approaches zero
2a : to make advances to especially in order to create a desired result was approached by several Broadway producers
b : to take preliminary steps toward accomplishment or full knowledge or experience of Try to approach the subject with an open mind.

intransitive verb

1 : to draw nearer The time is fast approaching.
2 : to make an approach in golf

approach

noun
plural approaches

Definition of approach (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an act or instance of approaching the approach of summer
b : approximation In this book he makes his closest approach to greatness.
2a : the taking of preliminary steps toward a particular purpose experimenting with new lines of approach
b : a particular manner of taking such steps a highly individual approach to language
3 : a means of access : avenue
4a or approach shot : a golf shot from the fairway toward the green
b : the steps taken by a bowler before delivering the ball also : the part of the alley behind the foul line from which the bowler delivers the ball
5 : the descent of an aircraft toward a landing place The plane was on final approach.
6 : the surgical procedure or path by which access is gained to a bodily part A lateral approach was used to direct a 25-gauge, 10-cm spinal needle onto the articular pillar adjacent to the target joint.— Leslie Barnsley et al.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for approach

Synonyms: Verb

belly up, close, close in, come up, draw on, near, nigh

Synonyms: Noun

avenue, passage, path, route, way

Antonyms: Verb

back (up or away), recede, retire, retreat, withdraw

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Examples of approach in a Sentence

Verb

The cat approached the baby cautiously. Ease off the gas pedal to slow down as the bend in the road approaches. We are approaching the end of the fiscal year. This weekend we're expecting temperatures approaching 100 degrees. The success rates approach 90 percent. He has a wild laugh that sometimes approaches hysteria. a reproduction that approaches the quality of the original painting The supervisor is quite easy to approach, so don't hesitate to bring up any problems you have. We were advised to never be too aggressive when approaching a potential client.

Noun

trying a more healthy approach The cat made a cautious approach. The quiet afternoon was interrupted by the approach of a motorboat. A loud growl warned us of the bear's approach. With the approach of summer came longer, hotter days.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But at least one study has demonstrated that the chore can calm the washer down and increase inspiration—as long as one approaches the task the right way. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "Is Hand-Washing Dishes A Secret To The Success Of Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates?," 29 Dec. 2018 Obviously, that won’t apply to today’s or even tomorrow's uses cases, but with Optane storage continuing to move down the train tracks, the day is approaching when even a consumer CPU may need to talk to what seems like an insane amount of memory. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Surprise! Intel reveals 10nm Sunny Cove CPU cores that go deeper, wider, and faster," 12 Dec. 2018 The episode delivered a satisfying—and emotional—arc and moved the story forward, something that's all-too important as Big Bang approaches the last half of its final season. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Big Bang Theory," 6 Dec. 2018 As the plane approached the runway, Zeiger heard an odd sound, like pellets smacking a metal target at a fairground shooting game. Jim Rendon, Marie Claire, "When Female Veterans Return Home," 29 Oct. 2018 That caravan dwindled as the group approached the U.S. border, with some giving up along the way and others splitting off to try to cross on their own. Fox News, "Honduran migrant caravan crosses Guatemala border, US-bound," 15 Oct. 2018 In an unrelated incident, a sanitation truck hit an overhead sign on I-20 East approaching Chapel Hill Road, flattening tires on multiple cars, according to the Traffic Center. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "BREAKING: 3 tractor-trailers collide, jam traffic before I-20 in Douglas County," 12 July 2018 The company, along with some other streaming services, have approached IMAX Corp. about releasing their movies in their large-format auditoriums, said IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "Oscar in the Age of Entertainment Overload," 23 Feb. 2019 Don't spray near grills, candles, lit cigarettes, or open flames, and make sure your skins is thoroughly dry before approaching any sources of fire . Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Use Spray Sunscreen the Right Way, According to Dermatologists," 15 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

However, since the eye area can be more sensitive than the rest of the face, approach a regimen of either of the vitamins slowly to avoid irritation. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The Best Ways to Handle Crow's Feet," 15 Feb. 2019 Using premium base oils for low volatility—to prevent evaporation—is one approach. Paul Weissler, Popular Mechanics, "How to Pick the Right Motor Oil for Your Car," 14 Feb. 2019 That’s a different approach from Creative, which offers a smorgasbord of different options to process, say, bad MP3s to improve their audio, as well as a wealth of technology to enhance positional audio in games. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "EVGA gets into sound cards with Nu Audio, a high-end board that delivers 'lifelike' gaming," 8 Jan. 2019 This is exactly the approach taken by some physicists in a recent Physical Review Letter. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Pulsars could convert dark matter into something we could see," 20 Dec. 2018 Trump is much more in favor of large, federal spending, which is the Democratic approach. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Axios’ Jonathan Swan explains what the press gets wrong about the Trump administration," 6 Dec. 2018 Fasting is not the first dietary approach to excite researchers. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Not So Fast," 24 Sep. 2018 Most of the protesters chanted loudly but were unassuming in their manner of dress, while others took a different approach. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "The Coats Worn at the Extinction Rebellion Protests in London Are Made From Fresh Seedling Grass," 19 Feb. 2019 The other homegrown elementary OS apps take a similar approach, reinventing the wheel a little. Scott Gilbertson, Ars Technica, "A tour of elementary OS, perhaps the Linux world’s best hope for the mainstream," 28 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'approach.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of approach

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for approach

Verb and Noun

Middle English approchen, from Anglo-French aprocher, from Late Latin appropiare, from Latin ad- + prope near; akin to Latin pro before — more at for

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Statistics for approach

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for approach

The first known use of approach was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for approach

approach

verb

English Language Learners Definition of approach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move or become near or nearer to something or someone
: to move or become near or nearer in time to something
: to get close to (an amount or level)

approach

noun

English Language Learners Definition of approach (Entry 2 of 2)

: a way of dealing with something : a way of doing or thinking about something
: the act of moving or becoming near or nearer to someone or something : the act of approaching : an act or occurrence in which something comes nearer
: the act of speaking to someone for some purpose (such as to ask a question or make a request)

approach

verb
ap·​proach | \ ə-ˈprōch How to pronounce approach (audio) \
approached; approaching

Kids Definition of approach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to come near or nearer : draw close This train is approaching the station. The temperature is approaching 90 degrees.
2 : to begin to deal with approach a problem
3 : to start talking to for a specific purpose How can I approach the teacher about having cheated?

approach

noun

Kids Definition of approach (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of drawing near the approach of summer The cat made a cautious approach.
2 : a way of doing or thinking about something : a way of dealing with something
3 : a path or road to get to a place

approach

noun
ap·​proach | \ ə-ˈprōch How to pronounce approach (audio) \

Medical Definition of approach

: the surgical procedure by which access is gained to a bodily part

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More from Merriam-Webster on approach

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with approach

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for approach

Spanish Central: Translation of approach

Nglish: Translation of approach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of approach for Arabic Speakers

Comments on approach

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