Other forms: approximating; approximated; approximates

To approximate is to calculate the value of something based on informed knowledge. A computer program can approximate the value of a house based on square footage, number of rooms, year built, and other relevant factors.

As a verb, approximate means "to estimate." Unlike the word guess, approximate implies the use of a logical or mathematical method. You might guess how tall a friend is based on the first number that comes to mind, but you could approximate his height by using your own height as a comparison. As an adjective, approximate can mean "near" or "close together." If your friend calls to say he’s at a location approximate to your house, she’s in your neighborhood.

Definitions of approximate
  1. adjective
    not quite exact or correct
    “the approximate time was 10 o'clock”
    synonyms: approximative, rough
    not exact
  2. adjective
    very close in resemblance
    “sketched in an approximate likeness”
    synonyms: near
    close in relevance or relationship
  3. adjective
    located close together
    approximate leaves grow together but are not united”
    synonyms: close together
    at or within a short distance in space or time or having elements near each other
Definitions of approximate
  1. verb
    be close or similar
    “Her results approximate my own”
    synonyms: come close
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    approach, border on
    come near or verge on, resemble, come nearer in quality, or character
    approach a limit as the number of terms increases without limit
    type of:
    appear like; be similar or bear a likeness to
  2. verb
    judge tentatively or form an estimate of (quantities or time)
    synonyms: estimate, gauge, guess, judge
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    quantise, quantize
    approximate (a signal varying continuously in amplitude) by one whose amplitude is restricted to a prescribed set of discrete values
    gauge something incorrectly or improperly
    place, put, set
    estimate the duration or outcome of something
    lowball, underestimate
    make a deliberately low estimate
    estimate the value of (property) for taxation
    calculate as being
    count, reckon
    take account of
    approximate by ignoring all terms beyond a chosen one
    estimate based on a calculation
    type of:
    calculate, cipher, compute, cypher, figure, reckon, work out
    make a mathematical calculation or computation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘approximate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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