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.
- ap·prox·i·ma·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use approximation in a sentence
The format pits teams of four against each other in a loose approximation of football.Keep the football mode in ‘Rocket League,’ you cowards | Mikhail Klimentov | February 8, 2021 | Washington Post
The new approaches disguise that nonlinearity as a more digestible set of linear approximations, though their exact methods vary considerably.New Quantum Algorithms Finally Crack Nonlinear Equations | Max G. Levy | January 5, 2021 | Quanta Magazine
This will give you a close approximation of how much noise you can get away with.Holiday sex in your parents’ house without getting caught | Michael Alvear | December 15, 2020 | Washington Blade
The closest approximation to this that you may have heard about was when a holographic version of the late Tupac Shakur performed at Coachella in 2012.This Company Wants to Put a Human-Size Hologram Booth in Your Living Room | Vanessa Bates Ramirez | November 25, 2020 | Singularity Hub
Pinning down exactly what coverage a team is in can be difficult, but we can get an approximation.In effective pass coverage, what you see isn’t always what you get | Richard Johnson | November 11, 2020 | Washington Post
The hallucination is visually incoherent, either a rough approximation of text or a random assemblage of letters.Knocking on Heaven's Door: True Stories of Unexplained, Uncanny Experiences at the Hour of Death | Patricia Pearson | August 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Which is where the performance of Vera Farmiga comes in, with its impressively sly approximation of neurotic spontaneity.‘Bates Motel’: Ken Tucker Praises Vera Farmiga’s Knife-Sharp Performance | Ken Tucker | May 6, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
This is the closet Bordo comes to a phenomenological approximation of what it was like to be Anne Boleyn.
To the second point, Reinhart and Rogoff had, to a first approximation, zero actual effect on policy.
There are, to a first approximation, zero healthy adoptable babies in the US foster care system.
History can never be other than an approximation to the truth, even when it relates to the events and characters of its own age.Beacon Lights of History, Volume I | John Lord
There is much reason to question the entire accuracy of these returns, yet there is doubtless an approximation to the truth.Domestic Animals | Richard L. Allen
Let us see what degree of approximation can practically be made to the necessary precision.A System of Logic: Ratiocinative and Inductive | John Stuart Mill
It is not only impossible to do this completely, but even to do so much of it as should constitute a tolerable approximation.A System of Logic: Ratiocinative and Inductive | John Stuart Mill
At noon an observation by the meridian altitude of the sun's lower limb gave us 35 30′, as an approximation to our latitude.
British Dictionary definitions for approximation
the process or result of making a rough calculation, estimate, or guess: he based his conclusion on his own approximation of the fuel consumption
an imprecise or unreliable record or version: an 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
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