- a guess or estimate: Ninety-three million miles is an approximation of the distance of the earth from the sun.
- nearness in space, position, degree, or relation; proximity; closeness.
- Mathematics, Physics. a result that is not necessarily exact, but is within the limits of accuracy required for a given purpose.
Origin of approximation
Examples from the Web for approximation
To the second point, Reinhart and Rogoff had, to a first approximation, zero actual effect on policy.Did Reinhart and Rogoff Flub a Major Statistic?
April 17, 2013
There are, to a first approximation, zero healthy adoptable babies in the US foster care system.Can Gay Marriage Solve Our Adoption Problem?
March 29, 2013
Finally, the former president is home, back in civilian life—or at some approximation of it.The Last Ride
The Daily Beast
January 19, 2009
The approximation of sound in these names is sufficiently evident.
Even an approximation to it is rare, and absolute accuracy is still rarer.A Book for All Readers
Ainsworth Rand Spofford
"I thought so, too," she answered, with that simplicity ever attending our approximation to the truth.Tiverton Tales
This, out here to the southwest, is what might be called an approximation to his trail.Under Fire
The more perfect the approximation to truth, the more perfect is art.Spontaneous Activity in Education
- the process or result of making a rough calculation, estimate, or guesshe based his conclusion on his own approximation of the fuel consumption
- an imprecise or unreliable record or versionan approximation of what really happened
- maths an inexact number, relationship, or theory that is sufficiently accurate for a specific purpose
- an estimate of the value of some quantity to a desired degree of accuracy
- an expression in simpler terms than a given expression which approximates to it
Word Origin and History for approximation
early 15c., "act of coming near or close," noun of action from approximate (v.). Meaning "result of approximating" is from 1650s.
- Bringing tissue edges into desired apposition for suturing.