# Dictionary Definition

approximately adv : (of quantities) imprecise but
fairly close to correct; "lasted approximately an hour"; "in just
about a minute"; "he's about 30 years old"; "I've had about all I
can stand"; "we meet about once a month"; "some forty people came";
"weighs around a hundred pounds"; "roughly $3,000"; "holds 3
gallons, more or less"; "20 or so people were at the party" [syn:
about, close to,
just
about, some, roughly, more or
less, around,
or
so]

# User Contributed Dictionary

## English

### Pronunciation

Ap-proxi-mate-ly AHD phonetic symbols: [ă-prŏksə-mĭt-lē]### Adverb

(abbreviated as approx.)#### Translations

- Catalan: aproximadament
- Danish: omtrent, tilnærmelsesvis
- German: ungefähr, etwa
- Greek: περίπου, κατά προσέγγιση
- Hebrew: בקירוב (be'qiruv)
- Hungarian: megközelítőleg, körülbelül, kb.
- Italian: approssimativamente, circa
- Japanese: およそ(oyoso), 約(やく, yaku)
- Kurdish:
- Portuguese: aproximadamente
- Russian: приблизительно, примерно, около
- Spanish: aproximadamente
- Swedish: ungefär, cirka
- Telugu: సుమారుగా (sumaarugaa)

#### Synonyms

#### Antonyms

#### Related terms

# Extensive Definition

An approximation (represented by the symbol ≈) is
an inexact
representation of something that is still close enough to be
useful. Although approximation is most often applied to numbers, it is also frequently
applied to such things as mathematical
functions, shapes, and
physical
laws.

Approximations may be used because incomplete
information prevents
use of exact representations. Many problems in physics are either
too complex to solve analytically, or impossible to solve. Thus,
even when the exact representation is known, an approximation may
yield a sufficiently accurate solution while reducing the
complexity of the problem significantly.

For instance, physicists often approximate
the shape of the Earth as a sphere even though more accurate
representations are possible, because many physical
behaviours—e.g. gravity—are much
easier to calculate for a sphere than for less regular
shapes.

The problem consisting of two or more planets
orbiting around a sun has no exact solution. Often, ignoring the
gravitational effects of the planets gravitational pull on each
other and assuming that the sun does not move achieve a good
approximation. The use of perturbations to correct for the errors
can yield more accurate solutions. Simulations of the motions of
the planets and the star also yields more accurate solutions.

The type of approximation used depends on the
available information, the degree of
accuracy required, the sensitivity of the problem to this data, and
the savings (usually in time and effort) that can be achieved by
approximation.

## Science

The scientific method is carried out with a constant interaction between scientific laws (theory) and empirical measurements, which are constantly compared to one another.The approximation also refers to using a simpler
process. This model is used to make predictions easier. The most
common versions of philosophy
of science accept that empirical measurements are always
approximations—they do not perfectly represent what is
being measured. The history
of science indicates that the scientific laws commonly felt to
be true at any time in history are only approximations to some
deeper set of laws. For example, attempting to resolve a model
using outdated physical
laws alone incorporates an inherent source of error, which
should be corrected by approximating the quantum effects not
present in these laws.

Each time a newer set of laws is proposed, it is
required that in the limiting
situations in which the older set of laws were tested against
experiments, the
newer laws are nearly identical to the older laws, to within the
measurement
uncertainties of the older measurements. This is the correspondence
principle.

## Mathematics

<div id="shortcut" class="noprint" style="border:1px solid #999; background:#fff; margin:0 0 .5em 1em; text-align:center; padding:5px; float:right; clear:right; font-size:smaller;">≈ (formal)

~ (informal)
symbols representing approximation. Approximation usually occurs
when an exact form or an exact numerical number is unknown. However
some known form may exist and may be able to represent the real
form so that no significant deviation can be found. Numerical
approximations sometimes result from using a small number of
significant digits.
Approximation
theory is a branch of mathematics, a quantitative part of
functional
analysis. Diophantine
approximation deals with approximation to real numbers
by rational
numbers. The symbol "≈" means "approximately equal to"; tilde
(~) and the Libra
sign (* Congruence

## References

approximately in Breton: Tostadur

approximately in Czech: Aproximace

approximately in Danish: Approksimation

approximately in German: Approximation

approximately in Esperanto: Proksimuma
kalkulado

approximately in French: Approximation

approximately in Icelandic: Námundun

approximately in Italian: Approssimazione

approximately in Dutch: Benadering

approximately in Japanese: 近似

approximately in Polish: Aproksymacja

approximately in Portuguese: Aproximação

approximately in Russian: Аппроксимация

approximately in Simple English:
Approximation

approximately in Finnish: Approksimaatio

approximately in Swedish: Approximation

approximately in Ukrainian:
Апроксимація

# Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

about,
all but, all in all, almost, almost entirely, approaching, approximatively,
around, by and large,
chiefly, circa, close to, effectually, essentially, for practical
purposes, generally,
generally speaking, in round numbers, in the main, mainly, more or less, most, mostly, much, nearabout, nearly, nigh, on balance, on the whole,
plus ou moins, practically, roughly, roughly speaking,
roundly, say, some, substantially, virtually,
well-nigh