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 Indeed, in this futuristic society, one's future is determined seconds after birth, when a single blood sample can foretell everything from IQ to approximate time and cause of death. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Gattaca': THR's 1997 Review," 24 Oct. 2019 The victim stated between the approximate hours of 1440 and 1600, while parked at Evelyn’s Park, an unknown suspect(s) broke a rear window and stole multiple items. Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire Police Department weekly report," 28 Oct. 2019 That proposal has an approximate cost of a little more than $4.7 million. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, "Lake Bluff looks at options for protecting its bluff and beach after erosion," 23 Nov. 2019 Phillips said the Vibes, who have 14 full-time employees, had an approximate total economic impact of $20 million on the area in 2019. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "MLB proposal eliminates the minor leagues in Colorado. But Grand Junction and Colorado Springs are pushing back," 8 Dec. 2019 The term is a shorthand, and refers to the approximate horizontal display resolution of the set (in this case, nearly 4000 pixels across). Patrick Lucas Austin, Time, "Thinking of Buying a 4K TV? Here’s What You Should Know," 2 Dec. 2019 But resources are limited, so the training simply consists of a 30-minute online program, and the level of turnover in the TSA is high, with an approximate 17 percent attrition rate. Kam Burns, Allure, "The Unique Anxiety of Traveling While Transgender," 23 Nov. 2019 Alternatively, use the chart from the HDMI Forum showing resolutions and their approximate bandwidth. Jon L. Jacobi, PCWorld, "HDMI vs. DisplayPort: Which display interface reigns supreme?," 13 Nov. 2019 The 2018–19 expenditure report included an approximate £20 million (around $25 million) increase, which according to the Express is due to the extension renovations at Buckingham Palace. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Royal Family Makes a Lot More Money Than You Think," 9 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And answering this question requires knowing, or at least reasonably approximating, that elusive encounter rate. Lynne Peeples, Scientific American, "What the Data Say about Police Shootings," 5 Sep. 2019 Engineers at Honda R&D Americas, based near Columbus, Ohio, worked with airbag manufacturer Autoliv to create a bag that inflates into something approximating a baseball catcher’s mitt, with three inflated compartments. Eric Adams, WIRED, "Honda's New Airbag Catches Your Head to Save Your Brain," 24 Aug. 2019 Though Adler also has launched a mini-chain of local burger joints called Monty's with Impossible patties, the latest of which is opening in Echo Park, Nic's is not about ersatz dishes meant to approximate the pleasures of meat. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, "Nic Adler's New Restaurant Has One Rule: Don't Say "Vegan"," 23 Aug. 2019 The images released Wednesday use the suspect’s genetic material to construct facial images that approximate what the suspect may have looked like at ages 25, 40 and 55. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, "Police use DNA to create composite of suspect in 2006 killings in Fairfax County," 5 Dec. 2019 And 500 million gallons would approximate the amount used per year in one of the state’s larger ethanol plants, as in Winthrop or Fairmont, or by two midsized ones as those in Atwater, Granite Falls or Heron Lake. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Lessons seen in ill-fated water-rail plan," 9 Nov. 2019 Translating Nietzsche is a difficult task, but the swagger of his prose, with its pithy strikes and sudden swerves, can be fairly readily approximated in English. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Nietzsche’s Eternal Return," 7 Oct. 2019 At Plainridge, those games have proved to be more successful even than the multiplayer setups that approximate table games such as roulette and blackjack. BostonGlobe.com, "Robert Westerfield, vice president of casino operations at MGM Springfield, said such changes are normal for a young casino in a tight market.," 23 Sep. 2019 In 1837 the mathematician Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet found a rule for how well irrational numbers can be approximated by rational ones. Wired, "A Major Proof Shows How to Approximate Numbers Like Pi," 18 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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Time Traveler for approximate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for approximate

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Approximate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/approximating. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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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

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Comments on approximate

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