adjective , verb
/ əˈprɒksɪmət; NAmE əˈprɑːk-/ ( abbr. approx ) almost correct or accurate, but not completely so :
an approximate number / total / cost
The cost given is only approximate.
Use these figures as an approximate guide in your calculations.
■ verb / əˈprɒksɪmeɪt; NAmE əˈprɑːk-/ ( formal )
approximate (to) sth to be similar or close to sth in nature, quality, amount, etc., but not exactly the same :
[ vn ]
The animals were reared in conditions which approximated the wild as closely as possible.
The total cost will approximate £15 billion.
[ v ]
His story approximates to the facts that we already know.
[ vn ] to calculate or estimate sth fairly accurately :
a formula for approximating the weight of a horse
late Middle English (in the adjectival sense close, similar ): from late Latin approximatus , past participle of approximare , from ad- to + proximus very near. The verb (originally meaning bring close ) arose in the mid 17th cent.; the current use as an adjective dates from the early 19th cent.