approach

approach vb 1 Approach, near, approximate mean to come or draw close (to).
Approach is by far the widest in its range of application. Very often it implies a coming close in space
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he left the group and appro ache dus

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the storm was approaching

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Often also it suggests a drawing close in time
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it was approaching three o’clock

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the day of the wedding approached

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Sometimes a closeness in order of thought or in an intellectual relation (as likeness or identification) is implied
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her interest in others sometimes approaches intrusiveness

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students are expected to approach the standard set for them by their teachers

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many words of distinctly different origin gradually approach each other in meaning

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Though the word retains its implication of coming close, often it also implies actual or imminent contact; to approach a man with a proposal is actually to make advances to him; to approach a topic with reluctance is actually to enter upon a discussion of it. Hence, approach often stresses the manner or method of beginning, especially one calculated to evoke the response or effect desired
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he did not know how to approach the subject

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every problem in painting was to Leonardo a problem in science, every problem in physics he approached in the spirit of the artist— Ellis

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In a still more specific sense, when used in reference to persons, approach suggests advances made by the agent for some ulterior motive (as diplomatic negotiation, solicitation, or bribery)
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the committee awaited a favorable opportunity to approach the governor concerning his candidacy

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the attorney for the prosecution declared that two jurors had been approached during the trial

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Near is interchangeable with approach only when used in reference to persons or things that draw close in space or time. Because of its simplicity and familiarity it is sometimes preferred to approach in poetry but it is not as frequent in speech as might be expected, the expressions “get near” and “come near” often being used in preference
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the lark could scarce get out his notes for joy . . . as he neared his happy home, the ground— Tennyson

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the echoed hoof nearing the distant shore— Wordsworth

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as the time of the birth of our Lord nearedPusey

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Approximate, on the other hand, is interchangeable with approach chiefly in reference to things which come close to each other in some intellectual relation (as the actual to the ideal, the material to the spiritual, or one idea or entity to another)
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results that approximate perfection

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for law, at any given moment, even under the most favorable conditions, cannot do more than approximate to its own ideal— Dickinson

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the candidate’s memory should closely approximate a hypothetical norm— Armstrong

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Approximate is specifically used in reference to a sum, an amount, or a quantity that approaches but does not necessarily equal a given sum or amount
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a tablespoonful approximates three teaspoonfuls

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their fund now approximates $5000

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Analogous words: accost, *address: *begin, commence, initiate: consult, *confer, advise, negotiate
Contrasted words: avoid, elude, shun, evade, *escape: *refrain, abstain, forbear: retreat, *recede: withdraw, retire, depart, leave, *go
2 touch, equal, *match, rival
Contrasted words: diverge, deviate (see SWERVE)
approach n *overture, advance, tender, bid
Analogous words: attempt, endeavor, essay, try (see under ATTEMPT vb)
Antonyms: repulse

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • approach — I verb accedere, accost, advance, adventare, appropinquare, be in proximity, be in sight of, be in the neighborhood of, be in the vicinity of, be near, come forward, come near, confront, converge upon, draw near, edge close to, get near, go near …   Law dictionary

  • approach — UK US /əˈprəʊtʃ/ noun [C] ► a way of doing something: an approach to sth »Their positive approach to absence management played a large part in helping the organization return to profitability. a cautious/hands on/practical approach »He is… …   Financial and business terms

  • approach — [n1] way, means of arriving access, accession, advance, advent, avenue, coming, drawing near, entrance, gate, landing, nearing, passage, path, reaching, road, way; concepts 159,501 Ant. departure, distancing, leaving approach [n2] request,… …   New thesaurus

  • Approach — Ap*proach , n. [Cf. F. approche. See {Approach}, v. i.] 1. The act of drawing near; a coming or advancing near. The approach of summer. Horsley. [1913 Webster] A nearer approach to the human type. Owen. [1913 Webster] 2. A access, or opportunity… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Approach — Ap*proach , v. t. 1. To bring near; to cause to draw near; to advance. [Archaic] Boyle. [1913 Webster] 2. To come near to in place, time, or character; to draw nearer to; as, to approach the city; to approach my cabin; he approached the age of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Approach — »Art der Annäherung an ein Problem, besonders wirksame Werbezeile«: Das Fremdwort wurde in der 2. Hälfte des 20. Jh.s aus gleichbed. engl. approach übernommen, einer Substantivierung des Verbs to approach »sich nähern«, das über frz. approcher… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • approach — [ə prōch′] vi. [ME aprochen < OFr aprochier < LL(Ec) appropiare < L ad , to + propius, compar. of prope, near] to come closer or draw nearer vt. 1. to come near or nearer to 2. to be like or similar to; approximate 3. to make advances, a …   English World dictionary

  • Approach — Ap*proach , v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Approached}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Approaching}.] [OE. approchen, aprochen, OF. approcher, LL. appropriare, fr. L. ad + propiare to draw near, prope near.] 1. To come or go near, in place or time; to draw nigh; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • approach — ► VERB 1) come near to in distance, time, or standard. 2) go to (someone) with a proposal or request. 3) start to deal with in a certain way. ► NOUN 1) a way of dealing with something. 2) an initial proposal or request. 3) the …   English terms dictionary

  • approach — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun 1 way of dealing with sb/sth ADJECTIVE ▪ conventional, orthodox, traditional ▪ alternate (AmE), alternative, different, fresh, new …   Collocations dictionary

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