What does approximate mean?

Definitions for approximate
əˈprɒk sə mɪt; -ˌmeɪtap·prox·i·mate

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word approximate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. approximate, approximative, roughadjective

    not quite exact or correct

    "the approximate time was 10 o'clock"; "a rough guess"; "a ballpark estimate"

  2. approximate, nearadjective

    very close in resemblance

    "sketched in an approximate likeness"; "a near likeness"

  3. approximate, close together(p)verb

    located close together

    "with heads close together"; "approximate leaves grow together but are not united"

  4. approximate, come closeverb

    be close or similar

    "Her results approximate my own"

  5. estimate, gauge, approximate, guess, judgeverb

    judge tentatively or form an estimate of (quantities or time)

    "I estimate this chicken to weigh three pounds"


  1. approximateverb

    To estimate.

    To approximate the inequality of riches to the level of nature. --Burke.

  2. approximateverb

    To carry or advance near; to cause to approach.

    To approximate the inequality of riches to the level of nature. --Burke.

  3. approximateverb

    To come near to; to approach.

    The telescope approximates perfection. --J. Morse.

  4. approximateadjective

    Approaching; proximate; nearly resembling.

  5. approximateadjective

    Near correctness; nearly exact; not perfectly accurate.

  6. Etymology: From approximatus, past participle of approximare; ad + proximare. See proximate.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Approximateadjective

    Near to.

    Etymology: from ad, to, and proximus, near, Lat.

    These receive a quick conversion, containing approximate dispositions unto animation. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours, b. iii. c. 21.


  1. approximate

    An approximation is anything that is intentionally similar but not exactly equal to something else.


  1. approximate

    Approximate generally refers to a value, number or amount that is almost accurate or exact, but not completely so. It can also refer to being close or similar in nature but not an exact match. Essentially, it means something that is reasonably accurate or similar for most purposes, but may contain minor discrepancies or variations.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Approximateadjective

    approaching; proximate; nearly resembling

  2. Approximateadjective

    near correctness; nearly exact; not perfectly accurate; as, approximate results or values

  3. Approximateverb

    to carry or advance near; to cause to approach

  4. Approximateverb

    to come near to; to approach

  5. Approximateverb

    to draw; to approach

  6. Etymology: [L. approximatus, p. p. of approximare to approach; ad + proximare to come near. See Proximate.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Approximate

    ap-proks′im-āt, adj. nearest or next: approaching correctness.—v.t. to bring near.—v.i. to come near, to approach.—adv. Approx′imately.—n. Approximā′tion, an approach: a result in mathematics not rigorously exact, but so near the truth as to be sufficient for a given purpose.—adj. Approx′imative, approaching closely. [L. approximāre, -atumad, to, proximus, nearest, superl. of prope, near.]

Editors Contribution

  1. approximate

    Is to calculate a value with informed data, information, facts, research, statistics, experience and knowledge.

    Accountants approximate in financial projections using informed financial experience, data or knowledge - e.g in the year of the same period the income was £35,000 and it is forecasting similar figures for this financial year using data from orders to date.

    Submitted by MaryC on July 26, 2015  


  1. Approximate

    near to; applies to antennae inserted close together.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce approximate?

How to say approximate in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of approximate in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of approximate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of approximate in a Sentence

  1. Stephen Evans:

    While concealing identifiable individual patient data is important, there are other ways to verify the integrity of the data, for example, data providers should be able to confirm that they have provided data with at the very least, the approximate numbers of patients involved. It is correct to retract the paper in these circumstances.

  2. Blacksburg Police Chief Anthony Wilson:

    We were able to determine an approximate area where she might be found, virginia State Police were dispatched to the general area Saturday afternoon, and she was located just inside the North Carolina border on Route 89 in Surry County.

  3. Jeremy DeSilva:

    Mary Leakey made exquisitely detailed maps of the footprint localities. From Mary Leakey map, we were able to approximate where the tracks should be. We began to dig, hoping for the best, but fearing instead that forty years of seasonal rains had washed them away, the soil was hard as cement and it took a hammer and chisel to reach the footprint layer, which we then needed to excavate delicately with a hard-bristled brush and tongue depressor. Fortunately, the footprints were beautifully preserved.

  4. Ellen Selkie:

    With fandoms, in terms of the relationship between musical artists and actors and their fans, there is this sort of mutual love that fans and artists have for each other, which sort of can approximate that sense that they’re looking out for each other.

  5. The NWS:

    In a similar way, it provides one value each day that indicates the approximate level of heat risk concern for any location, along with identifying the groups who are most at risk.

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Translations for approximate

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • приблизителен, приближавам се доBulgarian
  • aproximatCatalan, Valencian
  • přibližnýCzech
  • brasWelsh
  • annähernd, annähernd erreichen, ungefähr, zirka, circa, annähernGerman
  • προσεγγίζω, χονδρικός, πλησιάζω, παραπλήσιοςGreek
  • aproximadoSpanish
  • lähestyä, likiarvoinen, likimääräinen, lähentää, estimoida, arvioida, lähentyä, approksimoidaFinnish
  • approximer, approximatif, approximantFrench
  • לשערHebrew
  • āwhiwhiwhi, whakaawhiwhi, whakatataMāori
  • aproximadoPortuguese
  • приблизительный, примерный, приближенныйRussian

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"approximate." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/approximate>.

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    brought into agreement or cooperation on the side of a faction, party, or cause
    A abrupt
    B squashy
    C aligned
    D reassuring

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