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

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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

Unlike previous simulations, which simply focused on nondescript galaxies that were the approximate size of the Milky Way, this new simulation attempts to model the Milky Way itself. Quanta Magazine, "Missing Galaxies? Now There’s Too Many," 9 Jan. 2019 More than 350 children participated in six different heats broken down by age and gender over an approximate 1.2-mile course, Park District officials said. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, "Glencoe’s Great Mud Run makes a mess: ‘It is just part of growing up’," 16 Sep. 2019 Our classical description of the world is a higher level, approximate way of talking about the wave function. Wired, "Sean Carroll Thinks We All Exist on Multiple Worlds," 10 Sep. 2019 The approximate area is marked on the map above, with specific counties indicated by dots. Bay Area News Group, The Mercury News, "Map: Hurricane Dorian evacuations in Florida, Georgia, Carolinas," 4 Sep. 2019 While the number of victims and approximate property damage from Dorian is not immediately known, aid workers said up to 13,000 homes may have already been severely damaged or destroyed, according to CNN. Claudia Harmata, PEOPLE.com, "Bethenny Frankel Travels to Florida and the Bahamas to Help with Hurricane Dorian Relief," 3 Sep. 2019 Duration is an approximate measure of a bond's sensitivity to interest rate movements. Ben Carlson, Fortune, "Making Sense of Bond Investing During a Deeply Unusual Year," 23 Aug. 2019 The company will be responsible for digging up 14,000 tons of heavy metal rails and wooden ties, the approximate weight of the Brooklyn Bridge. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Rail with trail hopes dashed: Removal of Nickel Plate tracks to begin in 30 days," 1 Aug. 2019 The Préfecture de Police-Police Headquarters-stands upon the approximate site of the gracious Forum, where Roman forces of order were based before our era began. Bruce Dale, National Geographic, "Adored, neglected, and restored: A 1968 Nat Geo feature explored Notre Dame," 17 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Imran Karim said that some labs do the work of approximating various products and then actively try to sell those nameless liquids, gels, and creams to existing brands. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "The Mysterious Economics of Face Wash," 6 Sep. 2019 If actual pixel edges and crunchy output aren’t your thing, then Slick Mode does a pretty good job of approximating anti-aliasing. Sam Byford, The Verge, "This expensive adapter makes the Nintendo 64 look good on modern TVs," 7 Aug. 2019 Armed with tons of TNT and ammonium nitrate, NASA worked with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to blast craters into this swath of land chosen for its many layers of volcanic cinders, which approximated the look and feel of the moon’s surface. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, "Before Going to the Moon, Apollo 11 Astronauts Trained at These Five Sites," 17 July 2019 In this case, computer scientists would lose their best strategy for approximating maximum-win probabilities. Quanta Magazine, "In Quantum Games, There’s No Way to Play the Odds," 1 Apr. 2019 Speaking of a journey, guests were able to experience life in a small Guatemalan village dring the gala, using Oculus VR glasses, to approximate the feeling of being on a mission to distribute wheelchairs. Coastmag, Orange County Register, "Free Wheelchair Mission donations top $1.8 million at Miracle of Mobility Gala," 2 Aug. 2019 To better approximate the schedule that helped make Ohtani a two-way star in Japan, the Angels will be giving the members of their rotation more rest to start this season. Jeff Miller, latimes.com, "Garrett Richards re-assumes 'lead dog' role for the Angels in opener against Athletics," 29 Mar. 2018 In fact, offseason and training camp reports have been glowing, providing reasonable hope that Cook can approximate the role Jimmy Graham had in New Orleans. Des Bieler, chicagotribune.com, "The top fantasy football tight ends to draft in 2019," 15 Aug. 2019 In fact, offseason and training camp reports have been glowing, providing reasonable hope that Cook can approximate the role Jimmy Graham had in New Orleans. Des Bieler, The Denver Post, "The top fantasy football tight ends to draft in 2019," 15 Aug. 2019

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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Learn More about approximate

Statistics for approximate

Last Updated

9 Oct 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)
: 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

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Comments on approximate

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