verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to come nearer; draw near: A storm is approaching.
to come near in character, time, amount, etc.; approximate.


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 for approach

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

Antonyms for approach Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for approaching

imminent, impending, coming, advancing, convergent

Examples from the Web for approaching

Contemporary Examples of approaching

Historical Examples of approaching

  • I have no fear of those enlargements of the Constitution that seem to be approaching.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • But we are approaching the limits of what government alone can do.

  • He took a couple of drinks to celebrate his approaching immunity from debt.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • "I think I'll stay for the meeting," said Yates, approaching him and patting the horse.

  • We had left the Boulevard, and were approaching the white-domed library.

British Dictionary definitions for approaching



to come nearer in position, time, quality, character, etc, to (someone or something)
(tr) to make advances to, as with a proposal, suggestion, etc
(tr) to begin to deal withto approach a problem
(tr) rare to cause to come near


the act of coming towards or drawing close or closer
a close approximation
the way or means of entering or leaving; access
(often plural) an advance or overture to a person
a means adopted in tackling a problem, job of work, etc
Also called: approach path the course followed by an aircraft preparing for landing

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for approaching



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.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper