[ uh-prok-suh-mey-shuhn ]
See synonyms for: approximationapproximative on

  1. a guess or estimate: Ninety-three million miles is an approximation of the distance of the earth from the sun.

  2. nearness in space, position, degree, or relation; proximity; closeness.

  1. Mathematics, Physics. a result that is not necessarily exact, but is within the limits of accuracy required for a given purpose.

Origin of approximation

1400–50; late Middle English approximacioun (<Middle French ) <Medieval Latin approximātiōn-, stem of approximātiō.See approximate, -ion

Other words from approximation

  • ap·prox·i·ma·tive, adjective

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

How to use approximation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for approximation


/ (əˌprɒksɪˈmeɪʃən) /

  1. the process or result of making a rough calculation, estimate, or guess: he based his conclusion on his own approximation of the fuel consumption

  2. an imprecise or unreliable record or version: an approximation of what really happened

  1. maths an inexact number, relationship, or theory that is sufficiently accurate for a specific purpose

  2. maths

    • 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

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