Definition of approximant in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əˈprɒksɪm(ə)nt/


1 Mathematics A function, series, or other expression which is an approximation to the solution of a problem.
Example sentences
  • In 1899 Padé published another major work on Padé approximants which, as we noted above, looked in depth at approximants of the exponential function.
  • Applied mathematicians have found that by approximating functions by continued function expansions, called Padé approximants, they often obtain far more accurate low-order approximations than by using Taylor series expansions.
2 Phonetics A consonant produced by bringing one articulator (the tongue or lips) close to another without actually touching it, as in English r and w.
Example sentences
  • It is phonologically impossible since Tamil has no [z] sound and since the retroflex approximant sometimes romanized < z > cannot appear in initial position.
  • The approximant r can also be regarded as a glide.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ap¦proxi|mant

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.