[ uh-prohch ]
See synonyms for: approachapproachedapproachesapproaching on

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.

  1. to present, offer, or make a proposal or request to: to approach the president with a suggestion.

  2. to begin work on; set about: to approach a problem.

  3. to make advances to; address.

  4. 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.

  1. the act of drawing near: the approach of a train.

  2. nearness or close approximation: a fair approach to accuracy.

  1. any means of access, as a road or ramp: the approaches to a city.

  2. the method used or steps taken in setting about a task, problem, etc.: His approach to any problem was to prepare an outline.

  3. 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.

  4. Sometimes approaches. a presentation, offer, or proposal.

  5. approaches, Military. works for protecting forces in an advance against a fortified position.

  6. Also called approach shot. Golf. a stroke made after teeing off, by which a player attempts to get the ball onto the putting green.

  7. Bowling.

    • the steps taken and the manner employed in delivering the ball: He favors a four-step approach.

    • Also called runway . the area behind the foul line, from which the ball is delivered.

Origin of approach

First recorded in 1275–1325; (verb) Middle English a(p)prochen, from Old French aprochier, from Late Latin adpropiāre “to draw near,” equivalent to ad- “to” and propiāre “to draw near,” derivative of Latin propius “nearer” (comparative of prope “near”), replacing Latin appropinquāre; (noun) late Middle English approche, derivative of the verb; see ad-, propinquity

Other words for approach

Opposites for approach

Other words from approach

  • ap·proach·er, noun
  • ap·proach·less, adjective
  • re·ap·proach, verb
  • un·ap·proached, adjective
  • un·ap·proach·ing, adjective
  • well-ap·proached, adjective

Words Nearby approach Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use approach in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for approach


/ (əˈprəʊtʃ) /

  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

  1. (tr) to begin to deal with: to approach a problem

  2. (tr) rare to cause to come near

  1. the act of coming towards or drawing close or closer

  2. a close approximation

  1. the way or means of entering or leaving; access

  2. (often plural) an advance or overture to a person

  3. a means adopted in tackling a problem, job of work, etc

  4. Also called: approach path the course followed by an aircraft preparing for landing

Origin of approach

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