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 But check quantities for a true comparison, usually measured by weight or the approximate number of seeds in a packet. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "The hellebore: Popular, early and now in a dazzling variety," 15 Jan. 2020 Combined, Coastal Alabama Community College and Alabama State University serve an approximate 10-county area, and graduate around 10,000 students each year. Michael Dumas, al, "Community college forges partnership for smooth transfers," 16 Mar. 2020 That is roughly 10 million Americans who immediately fall through the cracks; only slightly fewer Americans than currently get their insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the approximate equivalent of the population of Michigan. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "The Coronavirus Is a Test of Joe Biden’s Ideas," 12 Mar. 2020 Similarly, air taxi and eVTOL companies, including Uber, have targeted 2023 to 2025 as the approximate rollout timeline for their services—though that’s a best-case given the unknowns of the certification and safety questions. Eric Adams, Wired, "Flying Car Developers Get a Boost From the Air Force," 1 Mar. 2020 While most objects in the asteroid belt travel the same approximate course around the sun, Pallas is one of a few that goes rogue, zooming along a tilted track that brings it smashing through the rest of the belt at an awkward angle. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Most Cratered Object in the Asteroid Belt Looks Like a Golf Ball," 13 Feb. 2020 The Lady Tigers had been crushing opponents in their win streak, scoring 71 points per game and an approximate 52-point margin of victory. Dana Scott, azcentral, "Valley Vista surges late to beat rival Millennium in girls hoops state playoff preview," 7 Feb. 2020 The two pickups were traveling at a low rate of speed next to each other at an approximate speed of 40 miles per hour in a posted speed limit of 60 miles per hour. Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire Police Department weekly report," 3 Feb. 2020 Thousands of past real-world weather patterns are fed into the network, and the training software tweaks the network's many parameters to more closely approximate the correct results for each training example. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How Google researchers used neural networks to make weather forecasts," 14 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb It’s hard to imagine circumstances approximating those again. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: What was Bob Knight's return like? I don't think I'll see anything like it again," 11 Feb. 2020 Neither presidential elections nor legislation are meant to be characterized by ideological purity, but rather by approximating a nationwide consensus. WSJ, "Electoral College Is Better Than Alternatives," 30 Jan. 2020 Of course, approximating quantities of dots isn’t the same as solving complex mathematical equations, as our brains are equipped to do. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Dogs’ Brains Naturally Process Numbers, Just Like Ours," 20 Dec. 2019 Plus, his take on the fashion harness looks much more practical than most, with the waist piece in particular very much approximating a utility belt—leave it to Thug to find a fresh way to revive an overworked trend. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Young Thug Brings the High Fashion Harness to The Tonight Show," 21 Oct. 2019 Bezos had become enamored of a sophisticated display that approximated 3-D. For four years, Freed oversaw a group that grew to a thousand employees, and spent more than a hundred million dollars. Charles Duhigg, The New Yorker, "Is Amazon Unstoppable?," 10 Oct. 2019 Deep learning uses artificial neural networks to mathematically approximate the way human neurons and synapses learn by forming and strengthening connections. Wired, "An AI Pioneer Wants His Algorithms to Understand the 'Why'," 8 Oct. 2019 The team used what's known as floating-point arithmetic, which since the 1950s has been a ubiquitous method of approximating real numbers on digital computers. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Computers Suck at Creating Chaos," 30 Sep. 2019 Your best shot at approximating the 2019 30th anniversary MX-5 Miata is starting with the Club trim ($30,510, including destination) and opting for Mazda’s $4,470 Brembo-BBS-Recaro package. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Dedicated fans get hands on their limited edition 30th anniversary MX-5 drop-tops," 20 Sep. 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

9 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Approximate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/approximate. Accessed 9 Apr. 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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