Definition of approach in English:



  • 1Come near or nearer to (someone or something) in distance.

    ‘the train approached the main line’
    [no object] ‘she hadn't heard him approach’
    ‘an approaching car’
    • ‘There were two people in the car when the officers approached it.’
    • ‘On another table sits a projector showing slides of a car approaching a picnic site near Montpelier on the French A9 autoroute.’
    • ‘Both cars then approached a bend when the crash occurred.’
    • ‘Grabbing my camera and tripod from the car, I approached the nest.’
    • ‘A patrol car nearby approached the bank and officers acting on the tip-off arrested the men outside the bank and quizzed them before they were released.’
    • ‘Strange noises had echoed about ahead of him, sounds clearly defined, yet dim and distant as those he heard while approaching a bustling town from a distance.’
    • ‘I've been taking to napping on the subway, and somehow have been honing this sixth sense about when the train is approaching my stop.’
    • ‘As the car approached a garage it came almost to a stop.’
    • ‘I heard approaching footsteps and reached for the handle on the crawl space door, and tried to pull it closed.’
    • ‘She has been trained to approach the table only at the exact moment when everyone's mouth is full.’
    • ‘You can imagine my surprise to hear a loud train whistle as I approached the track.’
    • ‘My eyes were filled with wonder as I approached the tents and cars strewn about amongst the trees.’
    • ‘In the distance could be heard approaching sirens.’
    • ‘He could see, very faintly, a legion of soldiers in the distance, also approaching the forest.’
    • ‘The train approaching platform two is also not going to Parsons Green but to Ealing Broadway.’
    • ‘I yelled, all of a sudden feeling frantic as I heard the train approaching the platform above me.’
    • ‘Devin gets out of his car and approaches the front door, when suddenly he hears a blood-curdling scream.’
    • ‘The train approaches platform three, and I have an opportunity to hastily grab a photo before it stops.’
    • ‘A figure ran to me in a distance and as he approached waves of past forgotten dreams returned to me.’
    • ‘It is not until the car approaches the outskirts of Reykjavik that I realise I am still on the map.’
    proceed towards, come towards, go towards, advance towards, go near, go nearer, come near, come nearer, draw near, draw nearer, come close, come closer, go close, go closer, draw close, draw closer, move near, move nearer, edge near, edge nearer, near
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    1. 1.1Come near or nearer to (a future time or event)
      ‘he was approaching retirement’
      • ‘These aircraft were approaching the end of their useful lives, and new airframes were required to continue the squadron's work for the next 10 years.’
      • ‘As the Boeing 707 tanker approaches the end of its useful life, the world's air forces are closely monitoring tests such as this one.’
      • ‘Despite being at an age when many would opt for retirement - he was approaching 60 - Miquel was determined to find another business.’
      • ‘Better results are expected in the near future as Bulgaria approaches EU integration, completes the privatisation process and sees its economy flourish.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, when the trial approached its close, the jury were invited by the prosecution to disbelieve these witnesses.’
      • ‘This first team stalwart is an example of this having started out with the club as a Colt and still playing at first team level as he approaches his 40th birthday.’
      • ‘The combination left him with a third second place - and no doubt a desire for revenge as he approached the 2001 event.’
      • ‘Now approaching 36, his career may be nearing its end, though hopefully not before he plays his part in the Caribbean in 2007.’
      • ‘As the race approaches its close, we take a look the progress we've made thus far in the 2004 Democratic primaries.’
      • ‘The construction of the city's first train museum is approaching completion.’
      • ‘One approaches the future neither arrogantly nor helplessly.’
      • ‘She's trailing in the polls approaching Election Day and the municipal tax base doesn't have the funds to cover the rising costs at local school boards.’
      • ‘As it unfolded with its dramatic successes, we approached the end of our time together as a seminar.’
      • ‘With the front end of the baby boomers approaching 60, many homeowners should be near to paying off their mortgage.’
    2. 1.2[no object](of a future time) come nearer.
      ‘the time is approaching when you will be destroyed’
      • ‘With election day approaching, Congress is certainly under pressure to do something.’
      • ‘As the election approached, political pollsters of all parties started to identify a profound lack of interest in politics and party policies.’
      • ‘As the full moon approaches, events take an even more sinister turn.’
      • ‘As the big day approached, I started experiencing overuse injuries after my 20-plus-mile walks.’
      • ‘And as the 2004 election approaches, commentators see a continuation, if not an intensification, of the culture war.’
      • ‘As time approached for the party to start, some of his friends had arrived and new people for the train fest were showing up.’
      • ‘What with the wedding approaching, this is no time for a communication breakdown.’
      • ‘Who could worry about literature when the biggest social event of the year was approaching?’
      • ‘As the allotted start time approached even the birds were silent in deference to the events that were about to unfold.’
      • ‘But as Election Day approaches, that is exactly what is happening.’
      • ‘The men used to say that Belle knew when dinner time approached because she started pricking her ears forward so she did not miss hearing the call.’
      • ‘With midterm congressional elections approaching rapidly, both parties have said that passage of drug coverage will be critical to their success.’
      • ‘As the end of November approached, I started getting questions about Thanksgiving.’
      • ‘As the end of the Christmas season was approaching in 1997, Kathy's inter-rail ticket was also nearing its terms of completion.’
      • ‘This means that if stock or bond markets fall into a prolonged downturn as your retirement approaches, you risk being left with a much smaller pension pot than might otherwise have been the case.’
      • ‘But she is expecting some sleepless nights as the blue riband event approaches.’
      • ‘A period of great political change in this part of Europe was approaching and events began to move quickly in 1866.’
      • ‘This great event is rapidly approaching and the Fort Knox team is in its final planning stages of this annual gathering.’
      • ‘The time for the concert to start approached and he asked Rebecca if she had intended to sit back stage or out front.’
      • ‘As evening approached, we relaxed in the shade near a water hole.’
    3. 1.3Come close to (a number, level, or standard) in quality or quantity.
      ‘the population will approach 12 million by the end of the decade’
      • ‘The resultant plot does seem to show that the population is now approaching an asymptote (and has done so twice before).’
      • ‘In May of 2nd grade, her total standardized test results approached the 90th percentile!’
      • ‘The ascent should then begin at whichever of two conditions arises first: the planned bottom time is reached, or cylinder pressure approaches the critical level.’
      • ‘Today I read the article about the world population approaching six billion.’
      • ‘Their worldwide record sales are approaching the 100 million marker very fast.’
      • ‘This will result in a total immune population of 92%, which is approaching the level needed to prevent epidemics.’
      • ‘The organization reports private label cheeses have been forced to raise their prices as well, often to levels approaching those of branded products.’
      • ‘In Pisces, collective thinking approaches the most mystical level possible.’
      • ‘It also will be impossible for the two teams to approach the Bucs' level of effectiveness.’
      • ‘No other country in the world approaches that level of spending as a fraction of national income, no matter how its medical care is organized.’
      • ‘Thus, the number of proteins is approaching a meaningful level to cover a diverse set of potential therapeutic and toxicity targets.’
      • ‘The characterization of round pins as a late feature approaches a marginal level of significance.’
      • ‘As the voltage approaches the higher level, sulfur atoms at one end of the molecule loosen their chemical bonds with the wire, and the current drops off as the switchover occurs.’
      • ‘In fact, in the third quarter, margins appear to have approached levels not seen since the peak of the earnings boom in 1997.’
      • ‘The Mitta Mitta rose to the occasion with a river level of 1.7m, approaching the 2m cut-off mark when nobody is permitted to kayak or raft the river.’
      • ‘Last April I wrote a column that suggested it was unwise to try to load the .45 Colt to levels approaching the .44 Magnum.’
      • ‘The strength of the evidence for selenium and prostate cancer approaches the highest level, but even so, questions remain about the wisdom of making recommendations.’
      • ‘Three other marker pairs showed deviations approaching the 0.01 level.’
      • ‘Second generation bean leaf beetles are emerging now and beetles numbers will be approaching their highest levels for the summer.’
      • ‘Sales and gross margins at the Hopkinton (Mass.) company are approaching their boom-time levels.’
      border on, approximate, verge on, resemble
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    4. 1.4archaic Bring nearer.
      ‘all those changes shall serve to approach him the faster to the blest mansion’
  • 2Speak to (someone) for the first time about something, typically with a proposal or request.

    ‘the department had been approached about funding’
    • ‘Has Hollywood approached you yet with requests to film any of your books?’
    • ‘Yet I was again approached with a request for samples when I was in the mortuary saying my last goodbyes.’
    • ‘Then we approached her with a business proposal that had her thinking about more than the exam.’
    • ‘In addition, claims that the whole South African team were approached with a proposal to throw a match during its tour to India in 1996 will also be investigated.’
    • ‘The complex of persecution becomes more relevant once he approaches the audience and requests them to divulge their Jewish names; their real names.’
    • ‘Hardly had he indicated his desire, when a few parties approached him requesting that he hold a party convention in Kerala in late September.’
    • ‘That is why he was not approached to give his opinion, as he, strictly speaking, is not a resident or property owner on Grave Lane.’
    • ‘If you'd ever approached me with that request I'd have declined and handed you back your tip.’
    • ‘I approached some influential people with the proposal of this organisation.’
    • ‘Three years ago, I approached her with a proposal.’
    • ‘In the course of doing so I also approached the people of York for their views on the proposed scheme.’
    • ‘Pleased to be called up, she approached a senior officer to sign her release papers only to be told that she would be given two weeks' unpaid notice and her job would not be held once she returned to England.’
    • ‘So please if you are approached to help, try to give a little of your time.’
    • ‘Just in case anyone I work with is reading this, see if you can guess which current highly respected staff member approached me with this request.’
    • ‘He approached me with the proposal first, and I accepted, naturally.’
    • ‘Above all else, compliment each person for approaching you with the request to work.’
    • ‘Within South Africa short-listed artists were approached to submit proposals for work that would address the themes of the exhibition.’
    • ‘Mass congregations were recently approached with a request to support the launch of a fund to finance a major building programme that will be undertaken in the Parish.’
    • ‘A moment later, another boy approached him with the same request.’
    • ‘The 35-year-old was walking along the footpath near Rydal Road when he was approached and spoken to by two men at around 4am.’
    speak to, talk to, make conversation with, engage in conversation
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  • 3Start to deal with (something) in a certain way.

    ‘one must approach the matter with caution’
    • ‘He added that some flexibility must be introduced when approaching this important and sensitive economic and political issue.’
    • ‘Each new site, each budget, must be approached as a new problem, even while preserving the basic typology of the courtyard.’
    • ‘Therefore, software installation must be approached with care, and with an eye toward the ultimate goal of the cluster's end users.’
    • ‘We cannot have a situation in which 43 different police forces approach the same problem in 43 different ways.’
    • ‘The idea that all workers must work until they drop from exhaustion is to approach the problem from the wrong end.’
    • ‘Therefore, as it seems to me, I must approach this on the basis that reasons are required to be given as of right.’
    • ‘This question may be approached by considering situations of the following kind.’
    • ‘This work of transformation which I have come to think of as culture work must be approached carefully but with great conviction and effort.’
    • ‘Furthermore, I am not persuaded that the issue of relevance must be approached differently with a different result because the context differs.’
    • ‘The same ‘subject matter’ is approached here from several different perspectives.’
    • ‘Once findings have been made, everybody must thereafter approach the case on the basis of the facts as judicially found.’
    • ‘Even with its inspired subject matter and casting, the movie seems to elude any sort of interesting way of approaching the eponymous subject matter.’
    • ‘This issue must be approached from a policy perspective.’
    • ‘Had I asked a different engineer to the design the same linkage, that engineer might have approached the problem differently.’
    • ‘This helps the children approach a highly emotional situation in a more objective manner.’
    • ‘In order not to be consumed by it, I have to approach difficult problems with a healthy detachment.’
    • ‘There must be other ways to approach this problem than to lock the gate.’
    • ‘One of your arguments is that a relevant matter in approaching our constitutional problem is that the respondent is resident in South Australia.’
    • ‘Drainage is a clear example of an issue that must ultimately be approached regionally.’
    • ‘Used the right way, it prompts you to approach a troublesome situation differently.’
    set about, tackle, begin, start, commence, embark on, make a start on, address oneself to, undertake, get down to, launch into, go about, get to grips with
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  • 1A way of dealing with something.

    ‘we need a whole new approach to the job’
    • ‘This is why a multilayered approach to cyber system defenses is necessary.’
    • ‘Which means making sure I'm near the front of the line on opening day and a systematic approach to acquisition.’
    • ‘The design and methods are a reasonable approach to study the association between modifiable risk factors and injury from car crashes.’
    • ‘Restoring the heart with the help of a plastic shaper is a new approach to a procedure that has been around for more than 20 years.’
    • ‘However, the horoscope does cause me to think about my approach to the situation.’
    • ‘Load management is a systematic approach to control the operation of electrical equipment.’
    • ‘Be human in your approach to this delicate situation and the employee will be that much more willing to listen to you.’
    • ‘You are diplomatic and cautious in your approach to sticky situations.’
    • ‘He also said that they would be taking a positive approach to the situation.’
    • ‘He said instead, deciding that wouldn't be the best approach to getting his way.’
    • ‘It equates belief systems with what informs your approach to a situation, and evaluates the system by the results.’
    • ‘It is a fact that a strategic approach to tourism can only succeed if the product infrastructure is in place.’
    • ‘A major plus would be his measured approach to situations, giving due weight to consequences.’
    • ‘This top down perspective and methodology is the one-two-three approach to design.’
    • ‘I am flexible and open in my thinking and in my approach to different situations and I am comfortable with ambiguity.’
    • ‘An alternate solution is to adopt a holistic philosophy and approach to any nursing situation.’
    • ‘That, I have to say, is a fundamentally stupid approach to the situation.’
    • ‘By questioning the validity of the scientific method, the new approach to science education opens up a can of worms.’
    • ‘It requires a generous approach to the situations in which privacy is to be protected.’
    • ‘This is a situation which bespeaks an amateurish approach to football administration.’
    attitude, slant, perspective, point of view, viewpoint, outlook, line of attack, line of action
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  • 2An act of speaking to someone for the first time about something, typically a proposal or request.

    ‘the landowner made an approach to the developer’
    • ‘After an approach from the north Dubliner, he issued three of his records in 1996.’
    • ‘He was due to have pre-season trials with Essex before deciding to accept the approach from Yorkshire.’
    • ‘They finished in positive territory despite rejecting a merger approach from another bank.’
    • ‘We had what was an approach from her ex-husband, who was inquiring about the mother of the child.’
    • ‘He says that there has been no approach from he Dublin developer about the company.’
    • ‘He took the company private because he was fending off an approach from his finance director.’
    • ‘It shouldn't be a confrontational approach but a polite request that something is not right.’
    • ‘The Stamford Bridge club have admitted there has been an approach from Celtic to take him on loan.’
    • ‘For instance, we also received an approach from these people.’
    • ‘Industry sources say it is expecting a formal approach from the German company soon.’
    • ‘She said a survey had been carried out in Tosside following an approach from a planning agent on behalf of a local landowner.’
    • ‘The company is braced for an approach from its German rival with a plan that will see them merge their core operations.’
    • ‘It has already indicated that it has received an approach from a mystery bidder now known to be a private equity group.’
    • ‘Fortunately the semester ended before I received an approach from You Know Who.’
    • ‘We met an uncooperative approach from the claimant's solicitors which put us to expense in itself.’
    • ‘He turned down an approach from one man who claimed hearing loss after going to a gig because of the lack of legal precedent for such an action.’
    • ‘Businesses should ignore any approach from this firm, and any similar offers.’
    • ‘It has also received an approach from the financier, who is understood to have offered more.’
    • ‘Sources there say they now expect an approach from the German company within a month.’
    • ‘He didn't seem as friendly for the rest of the evening as his initial approach had suggested, and I walked home thoughtfully.’
    proposal, proposition, submission, motion, offer, application, appeal, plea
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    1. 2.1dated Behavior intended to propose personal or sexual relations with someone.
      ‘feminine resistance to his approaches’
      • ‘When she rejected his approaches, he began to treat her meanly and find fault with her.’
      • ‘But she knew why he would never because she would never accept his approaches.’
      • ‘She told a District Court inquiry this week that she had taped telephone conversations with him in 2000 and 2001 because she feared he would kill her after she rejected his approaches.’
      advances, overtures, suggestions, attentions
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  • 3[in singular] The action of coming near or nearer to someone or something in distance or time.

    ‘the approach of winter’
    • ‘With the approach of Advent, we begin to prepare for the new covenant as issued in the birth of Jesus.’
    • ‘He estimated the distance, and after a slow and careful approach, they began to rise.’
    • ‘It seems that the trees and sand traps keep getting in his way on his approach to the greens.’
    • ‘The approach of the Himalayan winter is making a desperate situation even more urgent.’
    • ‘Predictions about who will win the competition are rife, given the approach of the final episode.’
    • ‘Autumn is a season for spectacle, made all the more gaudy by the imminent approach of winter.’
    • ‘The sight of ripe, golden yuzu suggests to the Japanese mind the approach of winter.’
    • ‘As an ethnic Pashtun living in a village near Herat, he fled the approach of the Tajik and Hazara forces which captured the city.’
    • ‘Lovely picture, though I don't care for the approach of winter that the orangey browns promise, I do love these colours.’
    • ‘Ethnographers say that Baba Marta is the threshold between the end of the winter season and the approach of summer.’
    • ‘She looked up at the sky and began counting the faint stars that were fast appearing with the approach of night.’
    • ‘It heralds both the approach of the harvest and the end of winter.’
    • ‘The span of the Pacific Ocean, covered in fog, hints at the approach of winter.’
    • ‘At the approach of the kidnapper's vessel, a door near the bottom slid open.’
    advance, coming near, coming nearer, coming, nearing, advent
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    1. 3.1An approximation to something.
      ‘the past is impossible to recall with any approach to accuracy’
      approximation, likeness, semblance, correspondence, parallel
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    2. 3.2The part of an aircraft's flight in which it descends gradually toward an airfield or runway for landing.
      ‘the aircraft completed the approach and touched down’
      • ‘I thought you were tossed around like a rag doll on final landing approach because you were flying too slow.’
      • ‘The crew had time to concentrate on the approach as we descended through the clouds.’
      • ‘You could even fly the entire approach at 70 knots if there was no need to expedite for other traffic.’
      • ‘The airplane was observed on a three-mile final approach when it entered a left bank.’
      • ‘The approach and landing were uneventful and the crew and aircraft were recovered safely.’
      • ‘A downhill runway may cause you to fly a too-high approach, and an overshoot would be likely.’
      • ‘That, combined with the landing weight, explained the high approach and landing speed.’
      • ‘The second approach was a little fast and one wing high but we got on the runway.’
      • ‘Transition from flying Cessnas to Pipers and see how much more aware it makes you of all aspects of the approach.’
      • ‘He set up for a half-flap approach and lowered the landing gear with the emergency system.’
      • ‘In this case, the best plan is to have a very shallow approach and a slow descent rate.’
      • ‘Landing with one failed engine is very unforgiving; you have to get it right on the first approach.’
      • ‘The Gary airport was small and grassy so I made a nice easy approach and landing.’
      • ‘Keep the ball in the middle in all phases of the approach to align the aircraft for maximum efficiency.’
    3. 3.3A road, sea passage, or other way leading to a place.
      ‘the eastern approach to the town’
      • ‘This in turn would allow major improvements in the capacity of the route and would also provide time savings for long distance services on the approaches to Dublin.’
      • ‘Using canoes they penetrated the enemy's shipping lines in the approaches to Singapore and placed limpet mines destroying three vessels.’
      • ‘Adare port need not have existed at all if the approaches to Limerick docks were better.’
      • ‘In the jungle, fighting patrols are guarding the surrounding villages and watching the approaches to the capital to monitor the activity of the rebels.’
      • ‘The first part of a plan to upgrade a number of locations in Clogh Village has been the provision of rumble strips and school warning signs on the approaches to the village and the National School.’
      • ‘The minehunters had been in the area clearing unexploded weapons, including mines, from the approaches to the port.’
      • ‘That brings traffic problems as drivers jostle for spaces or park thoughtlessly blocking entrances, bus stops and the approaches to pedestrian crossings.’
      • ‘It isn't so long since we were carrying stories and readers' letters complaining about the state of the railway embankments on the approaches to Bradford.’
      • ‘The war caused the temporary suspension of this plan; nevertheless, a sum of £6,600 was spent on concreting the quay roads and approaches to the berths.’
      • ‘It gave a commanding view over the approaches to the farm, and there wasn't a single watchman; there were two of them, each marching half the walkway's circuit.’
      • ‘A long string of cars behind his vehicle testified to the jammed approaches to the major artery out of Downtown.’
      • ‘He also suggested larger warning signs, the cross hatching of the left hand lane and better lighting on the approaches to major junctions.’
      • ‘Three new pedestrian islands will be built and an anti-skid coating applied in Brunshaw Road on the approaches to the roundabout.’
      • ‘There the King learned that a formidable French fleet lay at anchor in the mouth of the Zwyn, guarding the approaches to Bruges.’
      • ‘Those corridors provided natural approaches to the Ledo Road.’
      • ‘Aircraft patrolled the approaches to ports looking for German and Japanese submarines.’
      • ‘If we wish to brighten up one of the busiest approaches to the city, why stop at Oak Lane?’
      • ‘But there are limits to the number of new or wider roads that can be constructed, and the approaches to towns and cities are already becoming a concrete jungle.’
      • ‘The 30 mph limit should stay except in the approaches to schools, hospitals, old folks homes etc. where the limit should be 15 mph and strictly enforced.’
      • ‘By our English law there is a public right of passage through our navigable channels, whether in a port or the approaches to it.’
      driveway, drive, access road, road, avenue, street, passageway
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Middle English: from Old French aprochier, aprocher, from ecclesiastical Latin appropiare draw near from ad- to + propius (comparative of prope near).