approach /əˈprəʊtʃ/


I. verb [with obj.]

1. come near or nearer to (someone or something) in distance or time

the train approached the main line
[no obj.]
winter was approaching
(as adj. approaching)
an approaching car.
2. come close to (a number, level, or standard) in quality or quantity

the population will approach 12 million by the end of the decade.
‹archaic› bring nearer

all those changes shall serve to approach him the faster to the blest mansion.
4. speak to (someone) for the first time about a proposal or request

the department had been approached about funding.
5. start to deal with (a situation or problem) in a certain way

one must approach the matter with caution.
II. noun

1. a way of dealing with a situation or problem

we need a whole new approach to the job.
2. an initial proposal or request made to someone

the landowner made an approach to the developer.
3. ( approaches)
‹dated› behaviour intended to propose personal or sexual relations with someone

feminine resistance to his approaches.
4. [in sing.] the action of coming near or nearer to someone or something in distance or time

the approach of winter.
5. ( approach to) an approximation to something

the past is impossible to recall with any approach to accuracy.
6. the part of an aircraft’s flight in which it descends gradually towards an airfield or runway for landing.

the aircraft completed the approach and touched down.
I used to trim the plane back to about 50 mph for the final approach.
7. (usu. approaches) a road, sea passage, or other way leading to a place

the northern approaches to London.
– origin Middle English: from Old French aprochier, aprocher, from ecclesiastical Latin appropiare ‘draw near’, from ad- ‘to’ + propius (comparative of prope ‘near’).

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