approach

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

2 of 2

noun

plural approaches
1
a
: an act or instance of approaching
the approach of summer
b
: approximation
In this book he makes his closest approach to greatness.
2
a
: 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
4
a
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.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Temperatures are expected to be slow to rise through the 50s in most spots and might approach 60 in southern parts of the area. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2024 New creative projects are approaching, but don’t worry—you’ll prevail. Essence Lifestyle, Essence, 1 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for approach 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'approach.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near approach

Cite this Entry

“Approach.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/approach. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

approach

1 of 2 verb
ap·​proach ə-ˈprōch How to pronounce approach (audio)
1
: to come near or nearer
2
: to begin to deal with
approach a problem

approach

2 of 2 noun
1
: an act or instance of approaching
2
: a beginning step toward an end
3
: way of dealing with something
try a new approach
4
: a way (as a path or road) to get to some place

Medical Definition

approach

noun
ap·​proach ə-ˈprōch How to pronounce approach (audio)
: the surgical procedure by which access is gained to a bodily part

More from Merriam-Webster on approach

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