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used in a sentence
3 meanings
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1  —as in:
approached the city
Definition to get closer to (near in space, time, quantity, or quality)
  • Winter is approaching.
approaching = getting nearer
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • I grew more nervous as the test approaches.
  • approaches = gets nearer (in time)
  • I was fast approaching manhood, and year after year had passed, and I was still a slave.
    Frederick Douglass  --  The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • approaching = getting close to
  • His twelfth birthday was approaching.
    George Orwell  --  Animal Farm
  • approaching = getting near
  • When Peter turned and saw Cole approaching, he turned away.
    Ben Mikaeslen  --  Touching Spirit Bear
  • approaching = coming near
  • "My good Horse," said the Hermit, who had approached them unnoticed because his bare feet made so little noise on that sweet, dewy grass.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Horse and His Boy
  • approached = got near
  • Other soldiers approached his table at mess and asked permission to sit down.
    Orson Scott Card  --  Ender's Game
  • approached = went to
  • The thing approached the proportions of a scandal — then died away.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • approached = got near
  • She had never been able to recall anything approaching to tenderness in his former treatment of herself.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • approaching = similar (close in quality)
  • She ducked lower as he approached, suddenly worried that the tip of her boat was visible.
    Delia Owens  --  Where the Crawdads Sing
approached = got near

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
2  —as in:
use the best approach
Definition a way of doing something; or a route that leads to a particular place
  • Perhaps I just need to work harder, but I may need an entirely different approach to the problem.
approach = method (way of doing something)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • The approach to the cabin was covered with snow.
  • approach = path (that leads to a particular place)
  • She always approaches problems in a thoughtful manner.
  • approaches = does (something in a particular way)
  • Sentinels were placed at all the approaches to the farm.
    George Orwell  --  Animal Farm
  • approaches = routes that lead to a particular place
  • I'd learned by then that a direct approach, 'By God, you better not try a stunt like that again!', didn't work with Chris.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • approach = technique (way of doing something)
  • Unable to choose between the two approaches, I decided to try both.
    Michael Pollan  --  The Omnivore's Dilemma
  • approaches = ways of doing something
  • Trying a new approach, he grabbed Alby's arms again and started dragging him along the ground.
    James Dashner  --  The Maze Runner
  • approach = technique (way of doing something)
  • He hoped to prove that science and religion are two totally compatible fields-two different approaches to finding the same truth.
    Dan Brown  --  Angels & Demons
  • approaches = ways of doing something
  • "Dr. Hammond," my mom said, and this time, Whitney rolled her eyes at his name, "says that this woman, Moira Bell, has had great success with many of his patients because she takes a different approach."
    Sarah Dessen  --  Just Listen
  • approach = route (way to achieving something)
  • When she had registered with the Immigration and Naturalization Service upon filing her green card application, Luma had been fingerprinted; her fingers were placed on an ink pad and carefully rolled over the card beneath. The woman at the Walton County jail had a different approach; she grabbed Luma's hand, inked her fingertips, and then slammed her hand down on the counter.
    Warren St. John  --  Outcasts United
approach = technique (way of doing something)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
3  —as in:
approached her with the proposal
Definition to begin communication with someone about something — often a proposal or a delicate topic
  • They approached her about becoming a member of the committee.
approached = began communication with
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • I approached three bankers about a loan and all said "No."
  • approached = began communication with
  • Teabing had approached the BBC with a proposal for a historical documentary in which he would expose the explosive history of the Holy Grail to a mainstream television audience.
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • approached = engaged in conversation
  • One of their neighbors was the director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, and Walt approached this man, an army general, for advice.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • approached = began talking with
  • A favor could be called in by Andrey, a swap negotiated by Emile, and Audrius approached by the Count. Thus, the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth ingredients.
    Amor Towles  --  A Gentleman in Moscow
  • approached = to begin communication regarding a proposal
  • Almost all he can do is watch, in particular the SS guarding them, and he tries to work out who can be approached and who must be avoided.  He starts to talk occasionally to one of them.
    Heather Morris  --  The Tattooist of Auschwitz
  • approached = engaged in conversation
  • She decided to make her approach. Standing in front of Saeed's father she proceeded to talk animatedly with a friend while ignoring the object of her desire. He noticed her. He listened to her. He summoned the nerve to speak to her.
    Moshin Hamid  --  Exit West
  • approach = to begin communication with someone for the first time
  • She might have disdained him in all the dignity of angry virtue, in the grounds of Sotherton, or the theatre at Mansfield Park; but he approached her now with rights that demanded different treatment. ... she must have a strong feeling of gratitude.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • approached = began (again) to talk about a delicate topic
  • Once the persecution began, his work slowly dried up. ... He approached an old faithful named Herbert Bollinger—a man with a hemispheric waistline who spoke Hochdeutsch (he was from Hamburg)—when he saw him on Munich Street. At first, the man looked down, past his girth, to the ground, but when his eyes returned to the painter, the question clearly made him uncomfortable.
    Markus Zusak  --  The Book Thief
  • approached = began communicating (about a delicate topic) with
  • For one thing he mightn't what you call jump at the idea, if approached, and what mostly worried him was he didn't know how to lead up to it or word it exactly,
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
approached = began speaking with someone about something

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
Less commonly:
More rarely (and typically only in classic literature), the phrase nearest approach to as used in "her nearest approach to an apology" or "her nearest approach to a smile" typically means that "something is as close to something else as it ever gets." "As near an approach to" can have a similar meaning.
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