Meaning of APPROACH in English

I. ap ‧ proach 1 S2 W2 AC /əˈprəʊtʃ $ əˈproʊtʃ/ BrE AmE verb

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: aprochier , from Late Latin appropiare , from Latin ad- 'to' + prope 'near' ]

1 . MOVE TOWARDS [intransitive and transitive] to move towards or nearer to someone or something:

As I approached the house, I noticed a light on upstairs.

She heard footsteps approaching.

2 . ASK [transitive] to ask someone for something, or ask them to do something, especially when you are asking them for the first time or when you are not sure if they will do it

approach somebody for something

Students should be able to approach teachers for advice.

approach somebody/something about (doing) something

The charity approached several stores about giving food aid.

I have already been approached by several other companies (=offered a job, work etc) .

⇨ ↑ approachable

3 . FUTURE EVENT [intransitive and transitive] if an event or a particular time approaches, or you approach it, it is coming nearer and will happen soon:

She was then approaching the end of her career.

The time is fast approaching when we will have to make a decision.

With winter approaching, many animals are storing food.

4 . DEAL WITH [transitive] to begin to deal with a situation or problem in a particular way or with a particular attitude

approach a problem/task/matter etc

It might be possible to approach the problem in a different way.

5 . ALMOST [intransitive and transitive] to be almost equal to something:

temperatures approaching 35° C

He’s never had anything approaching a normal life.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning )

■ adjectives

▪ a new/different/fresh/alternative approach

a new approach to pollution control

▪ a positive approach (=showing that you believe something can be done)

A positive approach is essential in beating pain.

▪ a creative approach (=thinking of new ideas and methods)

International business requires a more creative approach.

▪ a general/broad approach

Many governments have pursued this general approach to economic policy.

▪ a direct approach

We would do better to adopt a direct approach and tackle the problem at its source.

▪ a practical approach

Women often take a more practical approach.

▪ a pragmatic approach (=dealing with problems in a way that is not limited by a strict set of principles)

a pragmatic approach to management problems

▪ a balanced approach (=considering everything in a sensible way)

The President spoke in favour of a calm and balanced approach.

▪ a tough approach (=dealing with something in a severe way)

The council adopted a tough approach to fighting crime.

▪ a cautious approach

China has followed a more cautious approach.

▪ a flexible approach (=using different methods if necessary)

We have a flexible approach to our clients’ requirements.

▪ a traditional/conservative approach

This is different from the traditional approach to high school teaching.

▪ an unorthodox approach (=not the same as people usually use)

It’s an unorthodox approach that her doctor doesn’t recommend for everyone.

▪ a scientific/systematic approach

a scientific approach to the study of language

■ verbs

▪ have an approach

In the US they have a somewhat different approach.

▪ take/adopt an approach (=use an approach)

There were concerns that Beijing would take a tougher approach.

▪ use an approach

This approach has been used for a number of major investigations.

▪ try an approach

Some scientists have been trying an alternative approach.

▪ prefer/favour an approach

I prefer a traditional approach.

• • •


▪ communicate verb [intransitive and transitive] to exchange information or have a conversation with someone, by telephone, letter etc, or by seeing them:

Now that we live in different cities, we communicate by e-mail.


He is able to communicate using a special keyboard, which is connected to a computer.


This message is not being communicated to staff.

▪ contact verb [transitive] to write to, phone, or email someone especially for the first time, in order to give or ask for information:

Neighbours contacted police after seeing a man with a gun.


She refused to comment when contacted by reporters from the local newspaper.

▪ get in touch (with somebody) to write to, telephone, or email someone, especially someone who you do not see very often:

I really ought to get in touch with Paula. It's been months since we last spoke.


You've got my phone number if you need to get in touch.

▪ get hold of somebody to succeed in contacting someone by telephone after trying several times:

Where have you been? I've been trying to get hold of you all week.


It's no use trying to phone Linda at work – she's impossible to get hold of.

▪ approach verb [transitive] to contact someone that you do not know or have not contacted before, in order to offer them something or ask them for something:

He has already been approached by several professional football teams.


The company confirmed that it had been approached about a merger.

II. approach 2 S2 W1 AC BrE AmE noun

1 . METHOD [countable] a method of doing something or dealing with a problem

approach to

a new approach to teaching languages

He decided to adopt a different approach and teach the Bible through story-telling.

This book takes an unorthodox approach to art criticism.

organizations which take a positive approach to creative thinking

2 . ASK [countable] a request from someone, asking you to do something for them:

They made a direct approach to the minister of education.

3 . the approach of something the approach of a particular time or event is the fact that it is getting closer:

the approach of autumn

It’s a sign of the approach of middle age.

4 . MOVEMENT TOWARDS [uncountable] movement towards or near to something:

Our approach frightened the birds.

5 . PATH/ROAD [countable] a road, path etc that leads to a place, and is the main way of reaching it:

Soldiers were guarding the approaches to the city.

an approach road

6 . AIRCRAFT [countable] the final part of a plane’s flight, before it lands at an airport:

It was clear to land so we made our approach.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.