- The definition of approximate is a time or a tangible item which is close to something else but not exactly like it.
Stating that a play will start at 7:00 when it will actually start a few minutes after that is an example of the time of 7:00 being an approximate time.
- To approximate is defined as to get a general idea or to come close to something.
To round off numbers so you can estimate the answer is an example of how to approximate an answer.
- near in position; close together
- much like; resembling
- more or less correct or exact
Origin of approximateMiddle English ; from Late Latin approximatus, past participle of approximare, to come near ; from Classical Latin ad-, to + proximus, superlative of prope, near
transitive verbapproximated, approximating
- to come near to; approach or be almost the same as: this painting approximates reality
- to bring near; make approach (to something)
- Almost exact or correct: the approximate time of the accident.
- Very similar; closely resembling: sketched an approximate likeness of the suspect.
- Botany Close together but not united.
verbap·prox·i·mat·ed, ap·prox·i·mat·ing, ap·prox·i·mates
- To come close to; be nearly the same as: This meat substitute approximates the real thing.
- To bring near.
- To bring together, as cut edges of tissue.
Origin of approximateMiddle English, from Late Latin approximātus, past participle of approximāre, to approach : Latin ad-, ad- + proximāre, to come near (from proximus, nearest; see per1 in Indo-European roots).
(comparative more approximate, superlative most approximate)
- Approaching; proximate; nearly resembling.
- Near correctness; nearly exact; not perfectly accurate.
- Approximate results or values.
- To help carry out its mission, NASA's Genesis spacecraft has on board an ion monitor to record the speed, density, temperature and approximate composition of the solar wind ions.
(third-person singular simple present approximates, present participle approximating, simple past and past participle approximated)