ap·​proach | \ ə-ˈprōch How to pronounce approach (audio) \
approached; approaching; approaches

Definition of approach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to draw closer to : near approach a destination
b : to come very near to : to be almost the same as … its mathematics approaches mysticism.— Theodore Sturgeon as the quantity x approaches zero
2a : to make advances to especially in order to create a desired result was approached by several Broadway producers
b : to take preliminary steps toward accomplishment or full knowledge or experience of Try to approach the subject with an open mind.

intransitive verb

1 : to draw nearer The time is fast approaching.
2 : to make an approach in golf


plural approaches

Definition of approach (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an act or instance of approaching the approach of summer
b : approximation In this book he makes his closest approach to greatness.
2a : the taking of preliminary steps toward a particular purpose experimenting with new lines of approach
b : a particular manner of taking such steps a highly individual approach to language
3 : a means of access : avenue
4a or approach shot : a golf shot from the fairway toward the green
b : the steps taken by a bowler before delivering the ball also : the part of the alley behind the foul line from which the bowler delivers the ball
5 : the descent of an aircraft toward a landing place The plane was on final approach.
6 : the surgical procedure or path by which access is gained to a bodily part A lateral approach was used to direct a 25-gauge, 10-cm spinal needle onto the articular pillar adjacent to the target joint.— Leslie Barnsley et al.

Synonyms & Antonyms for approach

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of approach in a Sentence

Verb The cat approached the baby cautiously. Ease off the gas pedal to slow down as the bend in the road approaches. We are approaching the end of the fiscal year. This weekend we're expecting temperatures approaching 100 degrees. The success rates approach 90 percent. He has a wild laugh that sometimes approaches hysteria. a reproduction that approaches the quality of the original painting The supervisor is quite easy to approach, so don't hesitate to bring up any problems you have. We were advised to never be too aggressive when approaching a potential client. Noun trying a more healthy approach The cat made a cautious approach. The quiet afternoon was interrupted by the approach of a motorboat. A loud growl warned us of the bear's approach. With the approach of summer came longer, hotter days. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Highs will generally range between 85 and 95 degrees (29 to 35 Celsius), though a few locales may approach 96 or 97 (35.5 to 36 Celsius). Matthew Cappucci,, 9 Aug. 2022 In its place, the agency purchased an existing system developed for Maryland’s health information network, whose annual cost will approach $1 million next year, Connie spokeswoman Jami Ouellette said. Christopher Hoffman, Hartford Courant, 9 Aug. 2022 The inflation grinder can only be switched off when ‘Debt to GDP’ heads for 80%, while budget deficits approach 3% on GDP. Clem Chambers, Forbes, 8 Aug. 2022 Additionally, Fernandez said the district will approach fire drills differently, using the intercom system instead of sirens, the paper reported. Rosa Flores, CNN, 7 Aug. 2022 True progress will arrive when two-day shipping and data center operations approach carbon-neutral status, developments that still require many iterations of technological advancement. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 2 Aug. 2022 Julia Bianco Schoeffling has seen too many pros approach the video game medium without proper preparation. Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 As these stories take shape and approach a finished product, the students are experiencing the highs of journalism, too. Jonathan Levinson, oregonlive, 1 Aug. 2022 Surveillance video of the meeting released by Houston police shows the two suspects get out of their car and approach the victim. Paul Best, Fox News, 25 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This fast-absorbing Vegan Collagen Body Milk Spray is a new approach to hydrating and nourishing your skin in a non-aerosol mist. Emerald Elitou, Essence, 11 Aug. 2022 That's a far different approach than traditional high-speed internet, which relies on underground fiber optic cables. Jackie Wattles, CNN, 10 Aug. 2022 In general, our food philosophy and menu formats are still the same: a world-approach to vegetarian cuisine using natural ingredients. Chelsea Davis, Forbes, 9 Aug. 2022 This is all necessary in the development of society’s approach to such complex, transformative issues. David Meyer, Fortune, 9 Aug. 2022 And that, Scarnecchia suspects, will be the approach in 2022. Karen Guregian, Hartford Courant, 8 Aug. 2022 There's a very methodical approach to what Rick did and what others did as to how to get them out. Joshua Rothkopf,, 6 Aug. 2022 This is the approach in Europe, which is less unequal than the U.S. but has, on average, a lower standard of living. Roger Lowenstein, WSJ, 5 Aug. 2022 This was a shock-and-awe approach to suggest to anybody running on a shadow bank that there was no need to run, that the Fed could take all the assets onto its own balance sheet, that there wasn’t going to be a repeat of Lehman Brothers. Jesse Eisinger, ProPublica, 5 Aug. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of approach


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for approach

Verb and Noun

Middle English approchen, from Anglo-French aprocher, from Late Latin appropiare, from Latin ad- + prope near; akin to Latin pro before — more at for

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Time Traveler for approach

Time Traveler

The first known use of approach was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Approach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for approach


ap·​proach | \ ə-ˈprōch How to pronounce approach (audio) \
approached; approaching

Kids Definition of approach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to come near or nearer : draw close This train is approaching the station. The temperature is approaching 90 degrees.
2 : to begin to deal with approach a problem
3 : to start talking to for a specific purpose How can I approach the teacher about having cheated?



Kids Definition of approach (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of drawing near the approach of summer The cat made a cautious approach.
2 : a way of doing or thinking about something : a way of dealing with something
3 : a path or road to get to a place


ap·​proach | \ ə-ˈprōch How to pronounce approach (audio) \

Medical Definition of approach

: the surgical procedure by which access is gained to a bodily part

More from Merriam-Webster on approach

Nglish: Translation of approach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of approach for Arabic Speakers


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