See also: Approximant

English Edit

Etymology Edit

From Latin approximāns. In the phonetics sense first used by Peter Ladefoged[1], the mathematical concept is attributed to Paul Halmos.[2]

Pronunciation Edit

  • (US) IPA(key): /əˈpɹɑksəmənt/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /əˈpɹɒksɪmənt/
  • (file)

Noun Edit

approximant (plural approximants)

  1. (phonetics) A consonant sound made by slightly narrowing the vocal tract, while still allowing a smooth flow of air. Liquids and glides are approximants.
    Hyponyms: liquid, glide, semivowel
    Coordinate terms: fricative, lateral, nasal, trill, plosive
  2. (mathematics) An approximation to the solution of a function, series, etc.
    Coordinate terms: approximand, approximate, approximation

Derived terms Edit

Translations Edit

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Peter Ladefoged (1964) A Phonetic Study of West African Languages (in English), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, page 25: “The term approximant is used here to describe a sound which belongs to the phonetic class vocoid or central resonant oral (Pike, 1943), and simultaneously to the phonological class consonant in that it occurs in the same phonotactic patterns as stops, fricatives and nasals.”
  2. ^ Philip J. Maher (2017) Operator Approximant Problems Arising from Quantum Theory (in English), →ISBN, page 1: “The key concept of this book is that of an approximant (the characteristically snappy term is due to Halmos [21])”

Further reading Edit

French Edit

Pronunciation Edit

Participle Edit


  1. present participle of approximer

Latin Edit

Verb Edit


  1. third-person plural present active indicative of approximō