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In linguistics, the nearer or more focused of two third-person actants, in languages that have a so-called fourth person system. It contrasts with obviative. Many American languages employ this system. For a detailed example, using Cheyenne verb markings, see under obviative.

Prox"i*mate (?), a. [L. proximatus, p. p. of proximare to come near, to approach, fr. proximus the nearest, nest, superl. of propior nearer, and prope, adv., near.]

Nearest; next immediately preceding or following.

"Proximate ancestors."

J. S. Harford.

The proximate natural causes of it [the deluge]. T. Burnet.

Proximate analysis Chem., an analysis which determines the proximate principles of any substance, as contrasted with an ultimate analysis. -- Proximate cause. (a) A cause which immediately precedes and produces the effect, as distinguished from the remote, mediate, or predisposing cause. I. Watts. (b) That which in ordinary natural sequence produces a specific result, no independent disturbing agencies intervening. -- Proximate principle Physiol. Chem., one of a class of bodies existing ready formed in animal and vegetable tissues, and separable by chemical analysis, as albumin, sugar, collagen, fat, etc.

Syn. -- Nearest; next; closest; immediate; direct.


© Webster 1913.

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