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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Allen said responding to street racing activity is complex and dangerous, as attempts by officers to approach these groups in the past have been met with hostility and aggression. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, "Portland celebrates Biden win with illegal street racing, crowds outside ICE chanting 'come out and fight'," 8 Nov. 2020 Even if nothing happens on the legislative level, the mere fact of Donald Trump leaving the White House will be a seismic shift for how platforms approach the issue of content moderation, and how they’re judged for it. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "Trump Broke the Internet. Can Joe Biden Fix It?," 7 Nov. 2020 The Prop 22 outcome could set a precedent for how other lawmakers across the United States approach the worker-classification debate. Michelle Cheng, Quartz, "Uber’s market value has just reached an all-time high," 6 Nov. 2020 That is not how Trump and Trumpism approach the public square, and in the face of a determined president and Senate leadership, that changed during this administration. Washington Examiner Staff, Washington Examiner, "Trumpism's next act," 5 Nov. 2020 Do the transfer portal and a one-time transfer rule change how teams can approach quarterback recruiting? Stephen Means, cleveland, "Should Ohio State football target a five-star quarterback in every recruiting class? Buckeye Talk," 4 Nov. 2020 On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will move near or over the northern Yucatan peninsula later Monday, move over the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and approach the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday. Carlie Wells, NOLA.com, "Tropical Storm Zeta rapidly strengthened overnight; landfall in Louisiana expected," 26 Oct. 2020 Its president, Kevin Paap, is less sure how Fischbach would approach federal agriculture policy. Stephen Montemayor, Star Tribune, "Michelle Fischbach hopes she'll be the one to flip Minnesota's 7th District from Collin Peterson," 23 Oct. 2020 There is also the question of how Judge Barrett would approach regulatory matters. John Schwartz, New York Times, "By Calling Climate Change ‘Controversial,’ Barrett Created Controversy," 15 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun How has your approach to teaching art changed over the years? Marley Marius, Vogue, "A New Book Traces the Global Origins of Abstract Art," 13 Nov. 2020 Regarding the hybrid model, Lloyd said the district is looking to enhance its current approach, which divides students into the blue group attending school Monday and Tuesday while the gold group is in class on Thursdays and Fridays. John Benson, cleveland, "Olmsted Falls City Schools committed to hybrid instruction during pandemic," 13 Nov. 2020 Noem’s spokesman, Ian Fury, said that Noem had no intention of changing her approach, noting that although the hospitalization rate has increased, 34 percent of the state’s hospital and ICU beds remain open. Washington Post, "‘Catastrophic’ lack of hospital beds in upper Midwest as coronavirus cases surge," 13 Nov. 2020 Reeves said Mississippi, which, like the rest of the country, has seen an increase in cases in recent weeks, will continue with its county-by-county approach instead of a statewide lockdown. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Mississippi won’t participate in national coronavirus lockdown, governor says," 13 Nov. 2020 Noem’s spokesman, Ian Fury, said that Noem had no intention of changing her approach, noting that although the hospitalization rate has increased, 34 percent of the state’s hospital and ICU beds remain open. Anchorage Daily News, "‘Catastrophic’ lack of hospital beds in upper Midwest as coronavirus cases surge," 13 Nov. 2020 New Orleanians answered the call, earning Cantrell widespread praise for her approach to the crisis. NOLA.com, "Commentary: Local bars, restaurants and workers need a break," 13 Nov. 2020 Tencent does think its relatively conservative approach to expanding beyond its core gaming and messaging services will be viewed favorably by the country’s powerful officials. Zheping Huang, Bloomberg.com, "Tencent Reassures Investors Spooked by China Internet Clampdown," 12 Nov. 2020 No tree has come back—but Koch hopes her approach can usher in an unprecedented era of tree revival. Gabriel Popkin, Science | AAAS, "Can an ambitious breeding effort save North America’s ash trees?," 12 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for approach

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for approach

Last Updated

16 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Approach.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/approach. Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for approach

approach

verb
How to pronounce approach (audio)

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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Comments on approach

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