approach

verb
ap·proach | \ ə-ˈprōch \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

With the end of the 2018 World Cup approaching, the world can begin to look ahead to future tournaments. Hayden Bird, BostonGlobe.com, "What to know about the World Cup title match," 14 July 2018 Justus Sheffield, New York Yankees Acquired in the 2016 deal that put Andrew Miller on the Indians, Sheffield has been and will continue to be mentioned in trade talk approaching the 2018 deadline. Ted Berg, For The Win, "7 MLB prospects to watch at the 2018 Futures Game," 13 July 2018 Nazario, emerging from the restaurant’s shattered entrance, also spotted the 6-foot-5 Benton pointing out the gunman and approached from the south. Frances Stead Sellers, Washington Post, "Two Oklahoma citizens killed an active shooter, and it's not as simple as it sounds," 13 July 2018 Shortly after the 2016 election, Novartis chief executive Joe Jimenez was looking for a consultant to help understand how the Trump administration would approach health policy. Ike Swetlitz, STAT, "Novartis needed a consultant. Over dinner, the CEO’s friend called Trump’s lawyer," 13 July 2018 Another group approaches and Ulis and the group exchange words before the men start to board the elevator. azcentral, "Video: Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis involved in elevator fight in 2017," 13 July 2018 Quite a display as trade talk heats up approaching the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. Josh Land, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles on deck: What to watch Friday vs. Rangers, plus lineups, broadcast info and more," 13 July 2018 The Senegalese player started all three of his country's World Cup group games over in Russia, and Ancelotti is looking to agree personal terms with the player, before approaching the Ligue 1 side with an offer. SI.com, "Napoli Reportedly Interested in Signing Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez Following Jorginho Departure," 13 July 2018 Gray will continue to show up for business meetings and get approached by men requesting coffee or tea. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "A daughter of Detroit defies odds, takes car industry into the future," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That same sort of conciliatory approach toward Mr. Putin would backfire in light of the indictments, making Mr. Trump look cowed, some analysts said. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Russian Agents’ Indictment Raises Stakes Ahead of Trump-Putin Summit," 13 July 2018 Sermanni said in a previous interview there isn’t much the coaching staff can do in terms of its approach this late into the season. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride have sense of urgency going into match against Utah Royals," 13 July 2018 That defensive, circle-the-wagons approach to Israel on the part of the Jewish Establishment was on full display in the summer of 2014. Abraham Riesman, Daily Intelligencer, "Can the young activists of IfNotNow change the conversation about Israel and the Palestinians, or will their contradictions hold them back?," 12 July 2018 That approach allows more N2 and less water to sit near the catalysts on the cathode, boosting the ammonia production. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Ammonia—a renewable fuel made from sun, air, and water—could power the globe without carbon," 12 July 2018 But that approach led to the separation of migrant families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and images of small children taken from their parents sparked outrage and energized critics of the Trump administration. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "House Democrats introduce bill to abolish ICE, create 'humane' immigration system," 12 July 2018 That approach may be neglecting the well-being of doctors themselves, however, says study author Tait Shanafelt at Stanford University—with consequences for the rest of us. Lucas Laursen, Fortune, "Burned-Out Doctors Make Twice as Many Errors. The Business World Could Offer a Solution," 10 July 2018 Our consultative approach allows our staff to identify the needs of our customers and then propose solutions to those needs. Bob Bong, Daily Southtown, "Comings & Goings: ‘Top Chef’ concession stand opens at Toyota Park," 10 July 2018 That classic approach to femininity was reinterpreted throughout the week on Nicky Hilton Rothschild (in sweet and short Giambattista Valli), Lauren Santo Domingo (in Dolce & Gabbana), and Tracee Ellis Ross (in Valentino). Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Naomi Campbell, Ashley Graham, and More of the Best Dressed at the Paris Couture Shows," 6 July 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.

See More

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

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

Noun

see approach entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about approach

Statistics for approach

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for approach

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
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 \

Medical Definition of approach 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on approach

What made you want to look up approach? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!