If some event approaches, what do you call it? I thought I could use 'close in', but it seems I can't. For example

As the election day [approached], the candidates' confrontational rhetoric reached fever pitch.

It's not happened yet, but it's going to happen soon and it gets sooner and sooner, that's what I intend to convey. Please suggest something that works well in different contexts, for different types of events.

  • coming/upcoming/forthcoming/approaching/advancing/nearing (neutral) imminent/impending/looming (negative) Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 0:26
  • 2
    'Drew near'. (@AndrewTobilko's suggestions are adjectives, but you seem to be asking for a verb.) Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 9:07
  • @KateBunting That's what I actually considered, but I didn't find it here (lexico.com/en/definition/draw), so I thought it was a false recollection Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 20:48
  • 1
    Definition 2.4 is the most appropriate. Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 8:58

1 Answer 1


There are lots of ways of expressing that meaning. Your “approached” is one example. But which of the many options to choose depends on several factors, including: whether you want a verb, noun, or adjective; whether the fact that the event is approaching is to be seen as a positive or negative thing; just how close to the event we are; how fast the event is approaching; and so on. Some examples:

As election day loomed, the candidates’ rhetoric became increasingly depressing

He knew that his looming election defeat would be followed immediately by ridicule and scorn.

The fast-approaching exams had all the students on edge.

As McEnroe served for the match, his heart beat loudly in his chest in expectation of his imminent victory.

  • I want a verb.. Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 20:52
  • Can you suggest more verbs, other than 'loom'? Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 2:56
  • Another option is "drew near". But as I said, your own choice of "approached" is fine, and is probably one of the better options. It doesn't have the ominous overtones of "loomed", and is not as prosaic as "drew near".
    – user8719
    Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 22:06

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