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Please tell me the meaning of the word 'approach' in the following sentence:

The survey team will approach and enter the household.

Merriam-Webster gives the following meanings:

  • to move or become near or nearer to something or someone
  • to move or become near or nearer in time to something
  • to get close to (an amount or level)

However, I am not satisfied with any of the meanings mentioned above.

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  • The Merriam-Webster gives the following meanings: : to move or become near or nearer to something or someone : to move or become near or nearer in time to something : to get close to (an amount or level)
    – curious
    Jul 14, 2015 at 9:04
  • However, I am not satisfied with any of the meanings mentioned above.
    – curious
    Jul 14, 2015 at 9:05
  • I have edited my question. Thank you for your suggestions.
    – curious
    Jul 14, 2015 at 9:12
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    Why aren't you satisfied with the first definition? They can't enter the household if they are far away from it - they have to move nearer to the household, i.e. approach it.
    – Lucky
    Jul 14, 2015 at 13:18
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    I don't think this needs to be closed. Could be improved by OP saying why he didn't understand those definitions, but he's not asking "define this", he's asking "why do any of these definitions apply". Jul 14, 2015 at 17:17

2 Answers 2

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Actually, what you found is the correct definition of aproach: to get closer, either in space, time or figuratively.

So if you feel it doesn't fit your understanding of the sentence, try to simplify it a bit and read it as:

The survey team will go towards the house and enter it.


And sometimes understanding the roots helps to understand the current meaning, too.

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    @curious No need to thank me (but I appreciate it, of course! ^_^). You may also choose not to accept this answer right away; who knows, there may be others with a better suggestion. If you want to know more about how this site works, I suggest you take the tour and visit our help center.
    – Stephie
    Jul 14, 2015 at 9:28
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Depending on context, "approach" can mean making the first contact with a person or persons. (For example, "The researcher approached several individuals but all declined to participate in the study.)

But in your sentence it sounds like the survey team is physically approaching (walking towards) the household in order to enter.

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