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

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In the online schedule, indicators will reflect approximate seat availability across the train, with levels updated continuously based on median seat availability during the previous survey period, according to the statement. Jeremy C. Fox, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Nov. 2021 Research the approximate salary for your job in your industry and area. Rachel Schnalzer, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2021 That’s the approximate number of Muslims in Indonesia, where nearly nine in ten of its population is Muslim, according to the U.S. Department of State. Lisa Kim, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2021 The approximate number of people who had been evacuated or relocated out of Afghanistan. ABC News, 22 Aug. 2021 But when pressed again by reporters on the specific number of at-risk Afghans the State Department expects to try and evacuate the country, Price failed to give an approximate number. Caitlin Mcfall, Fox News, 21 Aug. 2021 The reversal, highly unusual for a drug that has been available for only a few weeks, is likely to reduce the approximate number of Americans who are eligible for the treatment to 1.5 million from six million. New York Times, 8 July 2021 The approximate number of adolescents ages 12-17 in the United States is 25 million. Star Tribune, 2 June 2021 To offset the loss of about $100,000 in tax revenue a year — the approximate cost of funding the township's police — the state gave the hamlet a one-time grant worth about $2.2 million, said Rebecca Matsco, a Potter Township supervisor. Hannah Rappleye, NBC News, 14 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The researchers crunched the numbers to approximate how air, rather than water, would flow into the same structure. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 1 June 2021 Thinkers since Plato have longed for a philosopher-king, a ruler able to wield great power while maintaining a strong moral core; Marcus seems to approximate that ideal. James Romm, WSJ, 26 Apr. 2021 Each round is decorated with ropes of dough that have been stretched and indented to approximate the shape of bumpy bones. Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2021 New methods had to be developed to identify the operating principles behind these complex, chaotic systems in order to approximate their behavior. Quanta Magazine, 5 Oct. 2021 Netflix has attempted to flood their subscribers with films that attempt to approximate the old-school programmers. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 15 June 2021 But over a matter of days — in a jarring transformation for Rome’s residents — the city is beginning to approximate its pre-pandemic self: bustling, doors wide open. Washington Post, 19 May 2021 In the study, a team of researchers led by David Rand, a professor at MIT, set out to show whether groups of random laypeople could approximate the results of professional fact checkers. Gilad Edelman, Wired, 1 Sep. 2021 Plus, there’s just something fun about popping open a sparkling-wine bottle that a can can’t approximate. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 June 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.

See More

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

Learn More About approximate

Time Traveler for approximate

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near approximate

approximant

approximate

approximately

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for approximate

Last Updated

30 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Approximate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/approximate. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for approximate

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

More from Merriam-Webster on approximate

Nglish: Translation of approximate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of approximate for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!