Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

approximate

 - definition
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb approximate pronunciation in British English /əˈprɒksɪmeɪt/ 
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theyapproximate
he/she/itapproximates
present participleapproximating
past tenseapproximated
past participleapproximated

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] formal to be close to a particular number

    The crowd approximated 10,000.

    approximate to:

    This month's results approximated to the average for this season.

    1. a.
      formal to be similar to something but not exactly the same

      This flavour approximates what I remember.

      approximate to:

      organizations approximating to trade unions

creep

used with other nouns to describe the unexpected and often unwanted effects of a particular situation or trend

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

sandwich woman

a woman in middle age who has to juggle caring for teenage children and ageing parents with a career

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog