proximate

adjective prox·i·mate \ ˈpräk-sə-mət \
Updated on: 30 Nov 2017

Definition of proximate

1 : immediately preceding or following (as in a chain of events, causes, or effects)
  • proximate, rather than ultimate, goals
  • —Reinhold Niebuhr
2 a : very near : close
b : soon forthcoming : imminent

proximately

adverb

proximateness

noun

proximate was our Word of the Day on 08/28/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of proximate in a Sentence

  1. the proximate cause of the fire

  2. the proximate publication of his first novel

Recent Examples of proximate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'proximate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

You can approach a better understanding of this word, and an approximation of its history, if you recognize its two cousins in this sentence. Proximate derives from Latin proximatus, itself the past participle of the verb proximare, meaning "to approach." The noun "approximation" and both the noun and verb "approximate" derive from "proximare" (via the Late Latin verb approximare). "Proximare," in turn, comes from "proximus" ("nearest, next") and can be traced back to the adjective prope, meaning "near." "Prope" is also an ancestor of the English verb "approach," as well as "proximity," "propinquity," and "reproach."

Origin and Etymology of proximate

Latin proximatus, past participle of proximare to approach, from proximus nearest, next, superlative of prope near — more at approach


PROXIMATE Defined for English Language Learners

proximate

adjective

Definition of proximate for English Language Learners

  • : coming or happening immediately before or after something in a way that shows a very close and direct relationship


Medical Dictionary

proximate

adjective prox·i·mate \ ˈpräk-sə-mət \

medical Definition of proximate

1 a : very near
b : next, preceding, or following; especially : relating to or being a proximate cause
2 : determined by proximate analysis
3 : proximal 1b

proximately

adverb

Law Dictionary

proximate

adjective prox·i·mate \ ˈpräk-sə-mət \

legal Definition of proximate

1 : next immediately preceding or following (as in a chain of causation, events, or effects) : being or leading to a particular especially foreseeable result without intervention — see also proximate cause at cause 1
2 : very or relatively close or near
  • would be sufficiently proximate to the commencement of the defendant's trial
  • Johnson v. New Jersey, 384 U.S. 719 (1966)

proximately

adverb

Learn More about proximate


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up proximate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a man who seduces many women

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!