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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.