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approximate

[adj. uh-prok-suh-mit; v. uh-prok-suh-meyt] /adj. əˈprɒk sə mɪt; v. əˈprɒk səˌmeɪt/
adjective
1.
near or approaching a certain state, condition, goal, or standard.
2.
nearly exact; not perfectly accurate or correct:
The approximate time was 10 o'clock.
3.
near; close together.
4.
very similar; nearly identical.
verb (used with object), approximated, approximating.
5.
to come near to; approach closely to:
to approximate an ideal.
6.
to estimate:
We approximated the distance at three miles.
7.
to simulate; imitate closely:
The motions of the stars can be approximated in a planetarium.
8.
to bring near.
verb (used without object), approximated, approximating.
9.
to come near in position, character, amount, etc.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Late Latin approximātus drawn near to, approached (past participle of approximāre). See ap-1, proximate
Related forms
approximately, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for approximate
  • 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.
  • Find the approximate location of your town and mark it with a dot.
  • And it happens, to put it in approximate terms, all the time.
  • One tip: when you finally determine an approximate range, try to take into account cost-of-living in the area you're considering.
  • Radio, back in the day, functioned to give me a sense of the approximate value of a product before they bought it.
  • Ask them to label the approximate locations of the different wolf subspecies.
  • Tell them the approximate algorithm you are using so they won't feel slighted.
British Dictionary definitions for approximate

approximate

adjective (əˈprɒksɪmɪt)
1.
almost accurate or exact
2.
inexact; rough; loose: only an approximate fit
3.
much alike; almost the same
4.
near; close together
verb (əˈprɒksɪˌmeɪt)
5.
(usually foll by to) to come or bring near or close; be almost the same (as)
6.
(maths) to find an expression for (some quantity) accurate to a specified degree See accurate (sense 4)
Derived Forms
approximative, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin approximāre, from Latin proximus nearest, from prope near
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for approximate
adj.

early 15c., from Latin approximatus, past participle of approximare "to come near to," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + proximare "come near," from proximus "nearest," superlative of prope "near" (see propinquity).

v.

early 15c., "to bring or put close," from approximate (adj.). Meaning "to come close" is from 1789. Related: Approximated; approximating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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approximate in Medicine

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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