To approach is to get near something. An airplane is cleared for a final approach just as the wheels approach the landing strip.
Approach comes from the Latin word appropriare which means "go nearer to." You can physically approach something, like a waiter going to a table. Or, you can approach a subject, usually one you're a little nervous about — like a new employee might approach her boss about getting a raise. Time can also approach, like winter, midnight, or even old age.