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


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.

Synonyms & Antonyms for approach

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And one of the best ways to approach communications to build brand trust is to be proactive rather than reactive, which puts you in control of the narrative. Kate Farmer Rojas, Forbes, 17 May 2022 But Vamil Divan, an analyst at Mizuho Securities, wrote in a note to investors that based on data in both diabetes and obesity, sales of Mounjaro could approach $14 billion annually by 2030. Matthew Herper, STAT, 14 May 2022 The new models suggest Earth could approach Permian levels of marine extinction by 2300 if emissions continue to increase. NBC News, 28 Apr. 2022 That layout means air taxis could potentially approach more easily without getting in the way of the big planes. Forrest Brown, CNN, 26 Apr. 2022 Wednesday will be nice and warm as highs could approach the mid-70s. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 10 Apr. 2022 Did The Masked Singer inspire any new tricks or different ways to approach your act? Dana Rose Falcone,, 7 Apr. 2022 Sacramento, Redding and Stockton could all approach or surpass records. Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2022 The way these fans consume music has shifted and has opened new ways to approach this audience. Paul Herrera, Rolling Stone, 18 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In other words, stay agnostic in your approach to integrating systems as well as building components within your existing framework. Greg Kihlstrom, Forbes, 18 May 2022 Some hotels are evolving in their approach to housekeeping. Allison Pohle, WSJ, 16 May 2022 It’s not entirely clear why the US government, which for weeks had been more circumspect in its approach, reclassified Griner as a wrongful detainee., 13 May 2022 However, drugs are a bit blunt in their approach and have the tendency to affect almost every system in our body. Stav Dimitropoulos, Popular Mechanics, 12 May 2022 The subpoenas represent an escalation in the committee's approach to ferreting out what happened that day. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 12 May 2022 Systematically overlooking a basic way to introduce change is itself troublesome in our approach to problem-solving. Leidy Klotz, Scientific American, 12 May 2022 The Matcha 26 is innovative in its approach, recreating an entire atmosphere rather than merely a smell. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2022 The government’s shift in approach reflects an acceptance of growing evidence that Omicron, while highly transmissible, is less deadly. New York Times, 9 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of approach


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


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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Time Traveler for approach

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Approach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for approach


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?



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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on approach

Nglish: Translation of approach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of approach for Arabic Speakers


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