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.

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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

With holiday shopping season at its peak and winter weather approaching, the brand really couldn't have picked a better time to be generous with the discounts. Jillian Ruffo, Glamour, "Meghan Markle's Favorite $20 Lip Balm Is on Sale Right Now," 30 Nov. 2018 With the holidays rapidly approaching, there are only a few weeks to go before a new Congress takes over in January. Li Zhou, Vox, "Mitch McConnell says sexual harassment legislation could still get through Congress this year," 14 Nov. 2018 With Hurricane Florence approaching the southeast, one of the largest counties along the South Carolina coastline will transport residents to neighboring counties because its shelters might not be safe enough withstand a Category 4 storm. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Hurricane Florence too strong for Charleston County shelters, residents will be transported elsewhere," 12 Sep. 2018 When Rae Dunn finds herself in HomeGoods or TJ Maxx and is approached by fans, she's still taken aback. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Here’s Your First Look At Cult-Favorite Dishware Designer Rae Dunn’s New Book," 10 Sep. 2018 With fall fast approaching, people are dyeing their hair deep brunette hues at the roots and bright blonde at the ends for a high-contrast look. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Toasted Coconut Hair Is the Easiest Way for Brunettes to Go Bronde This Fall," 23 Aug. 2018 Since the age of 11, Younes was training as a boxer, but he was approached by a model scout in 2011. Victoria Rodriguez, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About Kourtney Kardashian's Boyfriend Younes Bendjima," 18 July 2018 Within minutes after hopping off the bus, she was approached by kindly gentlemen offering her protection, fatherly advice, drinks and hotel rooms. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "True crime: The 'dresser drawer murder' at the Claypool Hotel," 13 July 2018 Veronica declines Reggie’s offer to rough Elio up and approaches him with her own plan in mind. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Recap Season 3 Episode 7: Why Has No One Noticed Betty Is Missing?," 6 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Pierpaolo Piccioli, who delivered two breathtaking couture turns at Valentino this year, has been celebrated for approaching his ready-to-wear with a couture-like approach, adding the kind of artisanal details only a skilled hand can create. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Couture Is All About the Details—Glorious Details. Here, Our 45 Best Close-Ups from the 2018 Collections," 29 Dec. 2018 In Vermont, one needle exchange is even offering treatment on the spot — a rare, innovative approach. German Lopez, Vox, "The simple idea that could help end America’s opioid epidemic," 26 Dec. 2018 Despite the difference of temperature, Waco is looking more and more like the North Pole as the holidays fast approach. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Chip and Joanna Released a Christmas Playlist So You Can Listen to All Their Favorite Songs," 23 Dec. 2018 For a more natural approach, sprinkle table salt to absorb spills and wipe it up with a damp sponge or cloth once the oven is cool. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean an Oven Quickly and Painlessly," 18 Dec. 2018 The Trump administration argued that immigration law called for a more sparing, case-by-case approach. Sudhin Thanawala, The Seattle Times, "US judge tosses bulk of suit against Trump immigration move," 10 Dec. 2018 Trattner’s approach, however unorthodox, might appeal to some who feel hurried by traditional medicine. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "Meet the Woman Who Uses Alternative Medicine and Gemstone Facials to Treat Patients," 19 Oct. 2018 Some push the approach to 23:1, cramming all their eating into one hour of a 24-hour day. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Not So Fast," 24 Sep. 2018 One alternative is to validate your approach in small studies, scaling up only if those are a success. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "It’s surprisingly hard to give away billions of dollars," 11 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

3 Jan 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 \
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

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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

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