Etymology
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approximation (n.)

early 15c., "act of coming near or close," noun of action from approximate (v.). Meaning "result of approximating" is from 1650s.

updated on June 06, 2012

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Definitions of approximation from WordNet

approximation (n.)
an approximate calculation of quantity or degree or worth;
Synonyms: estimate / estimation / idea
approximation (n.)
the quality of coming near to identity (especially close in quantity);
approximation (n.)
an imprecise or incomplete account;
newspapers gave only an approximation of the actual events
approximation (n.)
the act of bringing near or bringing together especially the cut edges of tissue;
Synonyms: bringing close together
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.