Raymond Hettinger added the comment:

Elsewhere I have used "rough equivalent".

FWIW, the initializer defaulting to "None" is also an approximation.   It would 
be more technically correct to have "initializer = sentinel" where "sentinel = 
object()".   But of course this too would obfuscate the documentation which 
mainly aimed to clarify two sticky points:  1) the order of arguments to the 
function call (accm, x) vs (x, accm) and 2) that if an initializer isn't 
specified, the first value from the iterable is used.  These are the two issues 
that Guido found difficult to remember and caused reduce() to be banished from 


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