Definition of approximate in English:

approximate

Line breaks: ap¦proxi|mate

adjective

Pronunciation: /əˈprɒksɪmət
 
/

verb

Pronunciation: /əˈprɒksɪmeɪt
 
/
[no object] Back to top  
  • 1Come close or be similar to something in quality, nature, or quantity: a leasing agreement approximating to ownership [with object]: reality can be approximated by computational techniques
    More example sentences
    • This ersatz-Elizabethan mock-up, approximating to some incomplete and sketchy idea of the original, provides an anodyne facsimile of Elizabethan experience, from which the roughness, stench, and hazard have been removed.
    • The normal workings of the rugby world are put on hold in the week before an international, but as soon as something approximating to business as usual resumes tomorrow morning, the inquest which has been brewing all week will begin.
    • The only thing approximating to a real dessert was baklava, a particularly mean and thankless example of its kind being dry, almost syrup and nut-free.
    Synonyms
    be close to, be near to, come close to, come near to, approach, border on, verge on, equal roughly; be similar to, resemble, correspond to, compare with, be tantamount to, be not dissimilar to, be not unlike; touch, nudge, get on for
  • 1.1 [with object] Estimate or calculate (a quantity) fairly accurately: I had to approximate the weight of my horse
    More example sentences
    • The latter was calculated by approximating the surface area to that of a spheroid.
    • The three definitions include or exclude certain items in an effort to provide a picture of inflation that more accurately approximates the particular inflation of individuals, groups, companies or economic sectors.
    • According to asymptotic theory, the distribution of maximum-likelihood estimates can be approximated by a multivariate normal distribution.

Derivatives

approximative

adjective
More example sentences
  • The heat due to charging-discharging cycles and the movement and accumulation of ions to the electrodes causes a mechanical alteration in volume (expansion + contraction) for an approximative value of 7-9% of the total volume.
  • It is a general feature of physical models that a good but approximative description of a phenomenon can be achieved with a less detailed model than a reconstruction or simulation of the same phenomenon.
  • It can be used as an approximative measure of support for one or the other model and, therefore, allows estimating the evidence in favor of one or the other hypothesis.

Origin

late Middle English (in the adjectival sense 'close, similar'): from late Latin approximatus, past participle of approximare, from ad- 'to' + proximus 'very near'. The verb (originally meaning 'bring close') arose in the mid 17th century; the current adjectival sense dates from the early 19th century.

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