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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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

Trump stung May further by continuing to praise Boris Johnson -- the former foreign secretary who resigned this week over May’s approach to Brexit. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Thousands march against Trump in rowdy London protests," 13 July 2018 Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said in an interview with The Washington Post early Thursday morning that after Daniels's performance at Sirens strip club, she was approached by undercover officers informing her that she would be arrested. Author: Samantha Schmidt, Anchorage Daily News, "Stormy Daniels arrested at an Ohio strip club for touching patrons, police say," 12 July 2018 When deputies arrived a 25-year-old Mundelein man said he was approached by another man who asked for money. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "Police dog captures suspect who robbed good Samaritan: cops," 9 July 2018 McConnell and Shell were headed back to their car after having lunch when approached by the group. The Courier-Journal, "Beshear and ICE protests: What you missed in Louisville this weekend," 9 July 2018 Attacks the glass If Pritchard’s comment about Johnson’s tenacity didn’t indicate how the forward approaches rebounding, his collegiate numbers should. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "Pacers draft picks 2018: What you need to know about Alize Johnson," 22 June 2018 Within minutes, the fire flashed over, filling rooms with flames from floor to ceiling as the temperature approached 1,100 degrees. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "In a tragic loop, firefighters continue to die from preventable mistakes," 13 July 2018 As the motor home approached Bearizona’s entrance, Clark’s phone rang. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Born of tragedy, newborn elk triumphs thanks to kindness of strangers," 12 July 2018 His pre-World War I photographs of Vienna, when put on display in the 1930s, took on a new pathos as World War II approached. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Faces of Old Vienna," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meekins acknowledged in an affidavit that the streamlined vetting approach will make reunions happen faster. Kristina Davis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Trump administration outlines plan to reunify remaining 2,500 separated children," 14 July 2018 Officials say killing should be last resort Not everyone thinks killing the birds is the right approach. Jordyn Hermani, Indianapolis Star, "Black vultures are eating cows alive. But it's difficult to legally kill the birds.," 13 July 2018 But since then, a massive wave of corporate consolidations has transformed the American health care delivery system in ways that make the single-payer approach highly problematic. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Medicare for All Won’t Bring Medicare to All," 13 July 2018 Workers would look for opportunities to discuss treatment, and advocates argue the caring-but-not-coercive approach helps people make changes. Washington Post, "‘It keeps us safe’: An NYC bathroom set up to stem overdoses," 13 July 2018 Kerber has won over some skeptics by stressing that water-first is not always the right approach. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Fire departments fight a culture that saves — and costs — lives," 13 July 2018 Avoiding situations that could lead to accusations is a smart approach. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Could Gareon Conley Legally Prove That Rape Allegation Caused Draft Slide, Financial Harm?," 12 July 2018 The two-pronged approach leads to soft and dewy skin in a matter of minutes. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Are You Exfoliating Your Face Wrong?," 11 July 2018 At the turn of the decade, the band’s approach shifted into personal, personable verses. Zoë Madonna, BostonGlobe.com, "Rays of light from Dirty Projectors on ‘Lamp-Lit Prose’," 11 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.

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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

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

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Statistics for approach

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

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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