[adj. uh-prok-suh-mit; v. uh-prok-suh-meyt]
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), approximated, approximating.
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), approximated, approximating.
to come near in position, character, amount, etc.

1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin approximātus drawn near to, approached (past participle of approximāre). See ap-1, proximate

approximately, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
1.  almost accurate or exact
2.  inexact; rough; loose: only an approximate fit
3.  much alike; almost the same
4.  near; close together
5.  (usually foll by to) to come or bring near or close; be almost the same (as)
6.  maths See accurate to find an expression for (some quantity) accurate to a specified degree
[C15: from Late Latin approximāre, from Latin proximus nearest, from prope near]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1640s, from L. approximatus, pp. of approximare "to come near to," from ad- "to" + proximare "come near," from proximus "nearest," superlative of prope "near." The verb is 1650s, from the adjective. Related: Approximately (1845).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

approximate ap·prox·i·mate (ə-prŏk'sə-māt')
v. ap·prox·i·mat·ed, ap·prox·i·mat·ing, ap·prox·i·mates
To bring together, as cut edges of tissue. adj. (-mĭt)

  1. Relating to the contact surfaces, either proximal or distal, of two adjacent teeth; proximate.

  2. Close together. Used of the teeth in the human jaw.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
It must have known a close approximate if not the exact number of barrels of
  oil produced per day.
Everyone put kernels of corn in their shoes to approximate the aches that come
  from losing fatty tissue.
Prices and number of pages are sometimes approximate.
The controllers' radar only shows planes' approximate positions, so they must
  space them well apart.
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