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

The total volume of aluminum products exported from the EU to the U.S. rose 8% to 353 kilotons in 2017, representing an approximate value of €1.2 billion, according to Eurostat. Bob Tita, WSJ, "Foreign Aluminum Producers Shake Off U.S. Tariffs," 26 Oct. 2018 The document should cover all aspects of the job, including payment schedules, products being used, approximate start and finish dates, description of the project, and procedures for change orders. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "How Long It Takes To Renovate Every Single Room In Your House," 26 Dec. 2018 The story begins back in the Ice Age, when a baby horse died at the the approximate age of two months in what scientists suspect was an accident, likely a drowning. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Once Implicated in Cloning Fraud, This Scientist Now Wants to Bring Back an Extinct Ice-Age Horse," 7 Sep. 2018 Check that there's enough space for a pencil (the approximate size of a toddler's finger) to move freely between hinge parts at all points during hood adjustment. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Good Housekeeping, "GHRI Investigates: Baby Strollers," 11 Oct. 2010 In the photo, according to The Post’s Amy B Wang, ‘‘a figure with Earhart’s haircut and approximate body type sits on the dock, facing away from the camera. . Marwa Eltagouri, BostonGlobe.com, "Bones found on a Pacific island belong to Amelia Earhart, analysis claims," 8 Mar. 2018 Satellite data helped them establish the Nile’s approximate course during the capital’s heyday—as well as the locations of settlement-friendly highlands. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: Finding Pharaoh and spotting looters from orbit," 1 Nov. 2018 The four men and four women reduced their approximate calorie intake by up to 30 percent. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Not So Fast," 24 Sep. 2018 Ride the Ducks, an attraction owned by Ripley Entertainment, offers duck boat tours that begin in southwestern Branson before entering the lake for an approximate 20-minute excursion. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Duck boat tragedy turned over to federal prosecutors," 22 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At times, the thickness of the production approximates the tricks of new age music, sounds that encourage a kind of hypnosis. New York Times, "Post Malone and Rae Sremmurd, Hip-Hop Impressionists Shaping the Stream," 9 May 2018 The Galaxy maker showed off its new Infinity Flex Display yesterday, a display technology that will allow a tablet-sized screen to fold into a device that approximates the size and shape of a smartphone. Tom Warren, The Verge, "The foldable phones are coming," 8 Nov. 2018 In a recent survey by Nails Magazine, the average service income for nail technicians in 2017 was approximated to be $653 per week, which averages out to about $31,344 a year. Jennifer Lance, Glamour, "What No One Tells You About Tipping at the Nail Salon," 12 Dec. 2018 Early in the history of CFD, engineers and scientists applied straightforward numerical techniques in order to try to directly approximate solutions to the Navier-Stokes equations. Lee Phillips, Ars Technica, "Turbulence, the oldest unsolved problem in physics," 10 Oct. 2018 But regular visits to the salon for darkened roots with nuanced highlights and butterscotch lowlights painted on balayage style for just-back-from-the-beach dimension are a safe bet for approximating the look. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Behati Prinsloo Has the Perfect Shade of Victoria's Secret Blonde for Next Week's Show," 31 Oct. 2018 Major league pitchers this season have struck out 22.3 percent of batters — approximating the career rate of Clemens (23.1 percent). Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, "What’s up with all the strikeouts in Major League Baseball?," 12 July 2018 Following his engagement to Pippa, news sources approximated his total value to be upwards of two billion pounds but there has never been an official confirmation of that number. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "10 Things to Know About Pippa Middleton's Husband James Matthews," 16 Oct. 2018 But much more remains to be done: due diligence on safety, the improvement of algorithms that can approximate neural activity, and, in many cases, knowing what needs to be fixed in the first place. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 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 and Verb

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

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

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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