approximate

adjective
ap·​prox·​i·​mate | \ ə-ˈpräk-sə-mət How to pronounce approximate (audio) \

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 | \ ə-ˈpräk-sə-ˌmāt How to pronounce approximate (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Firefighters were torching the edges of an area the approximate size and shape of a football field. Jane Braxton Little, The Atlantic, "Forest Fires Are Setting Chernobyl’s Radiation Free," 10 Aug. 2020 But tracking apps estimate that the new website has the approximate daily traffic of a subreddit with 2.5 million subscribers. Robert Peck, Wired, "The Hate-Fueled Rise of r/The_Donald—and Its Epic Takedown," 3 Aug. 2020 The tool then calculates the approximate risk that someone who has been infected in the past 14 days would be at that event. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Is the coronavirus really worse than the flu? And other frequently asked questions.," 2 Aug. 2020 The approximate value of the 21 contracts is $188.6 million. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Alabama Roots: NFL Draft picks sign for $188.6 million," 2 Aug. 2020 Denver police reviewed video footage that showed two males and Perez at the approximate time of the killing. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "16-year-old charged as adult in fatal stabbing of 55-year-old man in Denver alley," 28 May 2020 Family research had discerned an approximate location in Harris County, Georgia. Roy S. Johnson | Rjohnson@al.com, al, "Johnson: Black and Confederate - a family’s complicated and conflicted journey," 13 July 2020 Fold up the sides toward the center until the egg is the approximate size of the bagel. cleveland, "Beyond the McMuffin: 6 breakfast sandwiches you can make at home," 2 June 2020 After determining the approximate location of the shots, the meters relay information to 911 operators, who initiate a police response, an NYPD spokesman said. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "NYPD cars hit with glass bottles and other debris in Harlem after responding to report of gunfire detected," 28 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb My response: approximate one million crying emojis. Sadiya Ansari, refinery29.com, "Canadian Media Is White AF — I Want A Mentor Who Has Felt That," 9 July 2020 The unprecedented reduction in greenhouse gas emissions brought about by COVID-19 may approximate the scale of what scientists say is required to tackle climate change, but it’s not particularly informative about how humanity might get there. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Carbon Emissions Are Decreasing During the Pandemic but Could Bounce Back Fast," 22 May 2020 The fake ballots used the same size envelope, same class of mail, and were even folded the same way to approximate the weight, although real ballots do have a logo that is intended to expedite them that CBS was unable to replicate. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "RNC warns of 'disaster' after CBS mail-in voting experiment reveals potential problems," 29 July 2020 My response: approximate one million crying emojis. Sadiya Ansari, refinery29.com, "Canadian Media Is White AF — I Want A Mentor Who Has Felt That," 9 July 2020 The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, gender, educational attainment, race, and region. National Geographic, "Poll: Who always wears a mask in public—and who doesn't?," 10 July 2020 My response: approximate one million crying emojis. Sadiya Ansari, refinery29.com, "Canadian Media Is White AF — I Want A Mentor Who Has Felt That," 9 July 2020 My response: approximate one million crying emojis. Sadiya Ansari, refinery29.com, "Canadian Media Is White AF — I Want A Mentor Who Has Felt That," 3 July 2020 In Cyberpunk 2077, ray-traced ambient occlusion additionally can be used with local lights to approximate local shadowing effects where shadows are missing. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Cyberpunk 2077 goes all-in on ray tracing and Nvidia's DLSS 2.0," 25 June 2020

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.

See More

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 and Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about approximate

Time Traveler for approximate

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for approximate

Last Updated

13 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Approximate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/approximate. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for approximate

approximate

verb
How to pronounce approximate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of approximate

: to be very similar to but not exactly like (something)
: 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 How to pronounce approximate (audio) \

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 How to pronounce approximate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce approximate (audio) \

Medical Definition of approximate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: located close together

approximate

transitive verb
ap·​prox·​i·​mate | \ -ˌmāt How to pronounce approximate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce approximation (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on approximate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!