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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Ap·prox·i·mate v. t. [imp. & p. p. Approximated p. pr. & vb. n. Approximating.]
 1. To carry or advance near; to cause to approach.
    To approximate the inequality of riches to the level of nature.   --Burke.
 2. To come near to; to approach.
    The telescope approximates perfection.   --J. Morse.