- near or approaching a certain state, condition, goal, or standard.
- nearly exact; not perfectly accurate or correct: The approximate time was 10 o’clock.
- near; close together.
- very similar; nearly identical.
verb (used with object), ap·prox·i·mat·ed, ap·prox·i·mat·ing.
- to come near to; approach closely to: to approximate an ideal.
- to estimate: We approximated the distance at three miles.
- to simulate; imitate closely: The motions of the stars can be approximated in a planetarium.
- to bring near.
verb (used without object), ap·prox·i·mat·ed, ap·prox·i·mat·ing.
- to come near in position, character, amount, etc.
- almost accurate or exact
- inexact; rough; looseonly an approximate fit
- much alike; almost the same
- near; close together
- (usually foll by to) to come or bring near or close; be almost the same (as)
- maths to find an expression for (some quantity) accurate to a specified degreeSee accurate (def. 4)
early 15c., from Latin approximatus, past participle of approximare “to come near to,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + proximare “come near,” from proximus “nearest,” superlative of prope “near” (see propinquity).
early 15c., “to bring or put close,” from approximate (adj.). Meaning “to come close” is from 1789. Related: Approximated; approximating.
- To bring together, as cut edges of tissue.
- Relating to the contact surfaces, either proximal or distal, of two adjacent teeth; proximate.
- Close together. Used of the teeth in the human jaw.