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 These numbers are approximate, but present what should be close to the full picture. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "We just learned a lot about Tesla’s Bitcoin bet," 28 Apr. 2021 The Derby has an approximate post time of 6:57 p.m. Saturday and will be televised by NBC. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Here are the 2021 Kentucky Derby post position draw, odds and entries for full field," 27 Apr. 2021 The Derby has an approximate post time of 6:57 p.m. Saturday and will be televised by NBC. Jason Frakes, USA TODAY, "Here are the 2021 Kentucky Derby post position draw, odds and entries for full field," 27 Apr. 2021 Joe Biden’s approximate popular vote lead as of Wednesday afternoon, or about 2.4% of the overall votes counted. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "By the numbers: What sticks out from the 2020 election in Utah and the U.S," 5 Nov. 2020 All the manufacturers say run times are approximate and will depend on the surface being cleaned and whether the cleaning head is being used. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, "New competitor in the cordless vacuum space has great power but needs longer battery life," 22 Apr. 2021 However, the approximate location of the missing Indonesian submarine is 13,000 miles from the U.S. west coast, and American forces would have to ship rescue teams and equipment on Air Force transports to arrive in a timely manner. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "An Indonesian Submarine Is Missing With 53 People Aboard," 22 Apr. 2021 In other words, your missing iPhone or, now, VanMoof bike, Belkin in-ears and Chipolo One Spot, sends a message to a passing Apple device, and the approximate location is then reported directly to you. David Phelan, Forbes, "Apple Reveals Huge Update To ‘Find My’ App – AirTags To Follow?," 7 Apr. 2021 Additionally, two patients were under investigation for COVID-19 on Friday, 12 critical care unit beds were in use and the total patient census was 150 out of an approximate capacity of 170. Bob Blubaugh, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Carroll County sees potential drop in weekly COVID-19 case totals; health department aligns with state vaccine eligibility protocols," 12 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With the addition of sills, the podium’s office windows more closely approximate the proportions of the windows on the 19th century facades, as some commissioners desired. New York Times, "A Billion-Dollar Battle Over a Parking Lot at the Seaport," 27 Apr. 2021 It’s based on work from 1995, when researchers showed that a shallow network can approximate an operator. Quanta Magazine, "Latest Neural Nets Solve World’s Hardest Equations Faster Than Ever Before," 19 Apr. 2021 People continue to look at sports as a break from the challenges of the pandemic and as a small reminder of what life was like before COVID 19 – to the extent that games without fans approximate what is normalcy. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says league won't 'jump the line' to get COVID-19 vaccinations," 22 Dec. 2020 So DeepONet, once trained, learns to approximate an operator. Quanta Magazine, "Latest Neural Nets Solve World’s Hardest Equations Faster Than Ever Before," 19 Apr. 2021 Lacking intrinsic value, NFTs approximate the way that art and trading cards can function as financial instruments for investors. Sam Dean, Los Angeles Times, "$69 million for digital art? The NFT craze, explained," 11 Mar. 2021 As Mindy Weisberger reports for Live Science, experts from the Forensic Anthropology, Paleopathology, Bioarchaeology Research Center (FAPAB) in Sicily used facial reconstruction technology to approximate the appearance of a mummy known as KV55. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, "Is This the Face of King Tut’s Father, Pharaoh Akhenaten?," 29 Mar. 2021 Their pattern of learning tends to approximate what is known in eating circles as binging. Robert Tucker, Forbes, "Are You Ready For The Coming Boom?," 17 Mar. 2021 The next step is trying to approximate the schedule of an in-person school day. Brian Platzer, The Atlantic, "Homeroom: Returning to the Classroom Might Not Be Easy," 30 Mar. 2021

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

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Approximate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/approximate. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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 approximate (audio) \ noun

Comments on approximate

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