English Synonyms and Antonyms
In mathematics, approximation is not guesswork, not looseness, and not error. The process of approximation is as exact and correct at every point as that by which an absolute result is secured; the result only fails of exactness because of some inherent difficulty in the problem. The attempt to "square the circle" gives only an approximate result, because of the impossibility of expressing the circumference in terms of the radius. But the limits of error on either side are known, and the approximation has practical value. Outside of mathematics, the correct use of approximation (and the kindred words approximate and approximately) is to express as near an approach to accuracy and certainty as the conditions of human thought or action in any given case make possible. Resemblance and similarity may be but superficial and apparent; approximation is real. Approach is a relative term, indicating that one has come nearer than before, tho the distance may yet be considerable; an approximation brings one really near. Nearness, neighborhood, and propinquity are commonly used of place; approximation, of mathematical calculations and abstract reasoning; we speak of approach to the shore, nearness to the town, approximation to the truth.
The approximation of the vegetable to the animal type.
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Translations for contiguity
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