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approach

[uh-prohch]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to come near or nearer to: The cars slowed down as they approached the intersection.
  2. to come near to in quality, character, time, or condition; to come within range for comparison: As a poet he hardly approaches Keats.
  3. to present, offer, or make a proposal or request to: to approach the president with a suggestion.
  4. to begin work on; set about: to approach a problem.
  5. to make advances to; address.
  6. to bring near to something.
verb (used without object)
  1. to come nearer; draw near: A storm is approaching.
  2. to come near in character, time, amount, etc.; approximate.
noun
  1. the act of drawing near: the approach of a train.
  2. nearness or close approximation: a fair approach to accuracy.
  3. any means of access, as a road or ramp: the approaches to a city.
  4. the method used or steps taken in setting about a task, problem, etc.: His approach to any problem was to prepare an outline.
  5. the course to be followed by an aircraft in approaching for a landing or in joining a traffic pattern: The plane's approach to the airport was hazardous.
  6. Sometimes approaches. a presentation, offer, or proposal.
  7. approaches, Military. works for protecting forces in an advance against a fortified position.
  8. Also called approach shot. Golf. a stroke made after teeing off, by which a player attempts to get the ball onto the putting green.
  9. Bowling.
    1. the steps taken and the manner employed in delivering the ball: He favors a four-step approach.
    2. Also called runway.the area behind the foul line, from which the ball is delivered.

Origin of approach

1275–1325; (v.) Middle English a(p)prochen < Anglo-French, Old French a(p)rocher < Late Latin adpropiāre, verbal derivative, with ad- ad-, of Latin propius nearer (comparative of prope near), replacing Latin appropinquāre; (noun) late Middle English approche, derivative of the v.
Related formsap·proach·er, nounap·proach·less, adjectivere·ap·proach, verbun·ap·proached, adjectiveun·ap·proach·ing, adjectivewell-ap·proached, adjective

Synonyms

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1. near, close with. 3. sound out.

Antonyms

6. withdraw.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for approach

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • There was no danger of discovery on his approach, for it was a wild night of wind and rain.

  • They are "safe, because they are too filthy to handle, and too noisome even to approach."

  • But she could not help smiling, so evident was it that he simply wished to approach her.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • He was prevented from replying by the approach of Simba at the head of eight of the askaris.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • For days and days they flanked the safari before venturing to approach.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White


British Dictionary definitions for approach

approach

verb
  1. to come nearer in position, time, quality, character, etc, to (someone or something)
  2. (tr) to make advances to, as with a proposal, suggestion, etc
  3. (tr) to begin to deal withto approach a problem
  4. (tr) rare to cause to come near
noun
  1. the act of coming towards or drawing close or closer
  2. a close approximation
  3. the way or means of entering or leaving; access
  4. (often plural) an advance or overture to a person
  5. a means adopted in tackling a problem, job of work, etc
  6. Also called: approach path the course followed by an aircraft preparing for landing

Word Origin

C14: from Old French aprochier, from Late Latin appropiāre to draw near, from Latin prope near
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for approach

v.

c.1300, from Anglo-French approcher, Old French aprochier "approach, come closer" (12c., Modern French approcher), from Late Latin appropiare "go nearer to," from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + Late Latin propiare "come nearer," comparative of Latin prope "near" (see propinquity). Replaced Old English neahlæcan.

n.

mid-15c., from approach (v.). Figurative sense of "means of handling a problem, etc." is first attested 1905.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper