I. adjective — approximate /əˈprɒksɪmət /
1. close to the actual, but not completely accurate or exact • the approximate time of death.
II. verb — [no obj.] approximate /əˈprɒksɪmeɪt /
1. come close or be similar to something in quality, nature, or quantity • a leasing agreement approximating to ownership
• [with obj.]
reality can be approximated by computational techniques.
2. [with obj.] — estimate or calculate (a quantity) fairly accurately • I had to approximate the weight of my horse.
III. derivatives approximative /əˈprɒksɪmətɪv / adjective
– origin 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 adjectival sense dates from the early 19th cent.