approximate

adjective
ap·prox·i·mate | \ ə-ˈpräk-sə-mət \

Definition of approximate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : nearly correct or exact : close in value or amount but not precise an approximate solution an approximate date

2 : located close together approximate leaves

approximate

verb
ap·prox·i·mate | \ -ˌmāt \
approximated; approximating

Definition of approximate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to come near to or be close to (something) a reproduction that approximates the original

2a : to bring near or close

b : to bring (cut edges of tissue) together

intransitive verb

chiefly British : to come close usually used with to … the pigments on a palette can only approximate to the limitless range of colour in nature.The Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms

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Other words from approximate

Adjective

approximately adverb

Examples of approximate in a Sentence

Adjective

This is the approximate location of the ancient city. Can you give me the approximate cost of the repair?

Verb

I've finally found a vegetarian burger that approximates the taste of real beef. The colors in the pictures can only approximate the real thing. an Australian who can approximate a strong New York City accent
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Within minutes, the Antarctic station, known as IceCube, had back-calculated the approximate location of where the rare signal had come from: the blazar off Orion’s left shoulder. Ian Haydon, Philly.com, "For the first time, scientists harness 'ghost particles' to study the universe and its black holes," 12 July 2018 To prosecute its case against Timothy Carpenter, the government obtained cellphone records that revealed his approximate location over 127 days, placing him in proximity to the crimes. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court cracks down on government snooping through cellphone location records," 22 June 2018 Using her cellphone, authorities were able to figure out her approximate location. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, "California woman survives 700-foot plunge off highway," 25 May 2018 The tool was billed as a demonstration prospective customers could use to see the approximate location of their own mobile device. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Website leaked real-time location of most US cell phones to almost anyone," 17 May 2018 Keller is part of the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation and would like to see a marker placed in Bronzeville to mark the approximate location of Camp Douglas. Elvia Malagon, chicagotribune.com, "Confederate group, activists hold competing ceremonies at Oak Woods Cemetery," 22 Apr. 2018 Designed to map an eighth of the night sky, DES’s view coincidentally overlaps with Brown and Batygin’s best guess for Planet Nine’s approximate celestial location. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Looking for Planet Nine, Astronomers Gaze into the Abyss," 22 Mar. 2018 Listing agent Nancy McAdam of Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty confirmed that the sale included a parking space, which has an approximate value of $50,000. Bob Goldsborough, chicagotribune.com, "Loyola University president paid $1.137 million for Loop condo," 15 May 2018 The approximate street value of the drugs is more than $26,000, police said. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Magnolia drug bust nets more than $26K worth of drugs, one amusing mugshot," 4 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The idea that a 50-mm best approximates human sight has more to do with the early history of lens production than any essential optical correspondence between the lens and the eye. Allain Daigle, The Atlantic, "How the 50-mm Lens Became ‘Normal’," 13 May 2018 If captivity can make wild animals anxious or depressed, freedom — or something approximating it — may be the best cure. David Scharfenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Are we making our pets crazy, too?," 13 July 2018 The technical reasons for a 50-mm lens best approximating human vision break down when celluloid film or its digital-sensor equivalent fall into disuse. Allain Daigle, The Atlantic, "How the 50-mm Lens Became ‘Normal’," 13 May 2018 Beneath this formidable timepiece, a series of scenes melt into one another, approximating cinematic cross-cutting, while managing to feel both epic and intimate. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Raises the Bar for Broadway Magic," 22 Apr. 2018 However, to the extent that money can approximate the damages that have been suffered and the damages that will be suffered, compensatory damages are used. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Reggie Bush’s Trial Win vs. Rams Could Be Precedent for More Athletes Filing Injury Lawsuits," 13 June 2018 The gap in their arrivals approximates the gap between appearances by Halley’s Comet, the most famous of the thousands of comets that streak through our solar system. Tom Verducci, SI.com, "The Star That Still Won't Shine: The Incredible, Unprecedented but Unseen Greatness of Mike Trout," 12 July 2018 There are a ton of different techniques to approximate a 3D image, many involving glass or mirrors, but few create a true three-dimensional moving image. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Watch These Spooky Holograms Made With Smoke and Projectors," 13 Mar. 2017 The Arizona researchers further approximated how migrants die in the desert by dressing the pigs in clothes — shirts, hats, jeans, underwear and shoes. Rob O'dell, azcentral, "What dead pigs can teach us about missing bodies in the Arizona desert," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'approximate.' 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 approximate

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for approximate

Adjective

Late Latin approximatus, past participle of approximare to come near, from Latin ad- + proximare to come near — more at proximate

Verb

see approximate entry 1

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Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for approximate

The first known use of approximate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for approximate

approximate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of approximate

: to be very similar to but not exactly like (something) ( chiefly Brit )

: to do or make a thing that is very similar to but not exactly like (something)

: to calculate the almost exact value or position of (something)

approximate

adjective
ap·prox·i·mate | \ ə-ˈpräk-sə-mət \

Kids Definition of approximate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: nearly correct or exact the approximate cost

Other words from approximate

approximately adverb

approximate

verb
ap·prox·i·mate | \ ə-ˈpräk-sə-ˌmāt \
approximated; approximating

Kids Definition of approximate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to come near in position, value, or characteristics : approach approximating the distance He tried to approximate the singer's style.

approximate

adjective
ap·prox·i·mate | \ ə-ˈpräk-sə-mət \

Medical Definition of approximate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: located close together

approximate

transitive verb
ap·prox·i·mate | \ -ˌmāt \
approximated; approximating

Medical Definition of approximate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to bring together approximate cut edges of tissue

Other words from approximate

approximation \ə-ˌpräk-sə-ˈmā-shən \ noun

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