verb ap·pre·ci·ate \ə-ˈprē-shē-ˌāt, -ˈpri- also -ˈprē-sē-\

Definition of appreciate




  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of appreciate the difference between right and wrongb :  to value or admire highly She appreciates our work.c :  to judge with heightened perception or understanding :  be fully aware of must see it to appreciate itd :  to recognize with gratitude I appreciate your kindness.

  3. 2 :  to increase the value of

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to increase in number or value Your investment should appreciate over time.


play \-ˌā-tər\ noun


play play \-ˈprē-shə-ˌtȯr-ē, -ˈpri-shə-\ adjective

Examples of appreciate in a sentence

  1. Given that scarcity and the anticipated growth of high-end wine consumption in the United States, they believe the value of quality vineyards will appreciate significantly. —Daniel Sogg, Wine Spectator, 15 June 2008

  2. The true carnivores in your life will appreciate this gloriously formidable slab of USDA prime meat. Is it worth the equally hefty price? Absolutely. Lobel's dry ages it for six weeks and always ships it fresh-no frozen mystery bricks here-and regardless of how you like your steak done, this porterhouse cooks up beautifully, retains its juices, and delivers rich, buttery flavor. —Kate Fox, Saveur, December 2006

  3. As a married, working woman in her mid-30s who's planning on eventually having children, I truly appreciated reading “Mommy Madness.” Over the years, I have observed peers with their children, and have inquired about what parenthood is really like. —Amy Booth, Newsweek, 7 Mar. 2005

  4. I think often of the quiet rigor of my former life. I did not even fully appreciate how much it costs to rent an apartment on the open market. —Martha Southgate, The Fall of Rome, 2002

  5. The company strives to make its employees feel appreciated.

  6. Living in the city has taught me to appreciate the differences between people.

  7. Those who appreciate fine wine will enjoy reading the restaurant's wine list.

  8. I really appreciated the information you gave me.

  9. Your help the other day was greatly appreciated.

  10. The tiny creature contributes to its ecosystem in ways we are only just beginning to appreciate.

  11. I don't think you appreciate the complexity of the situation.

  12. I appreciate what the artist is trying to do, but I think the painting fails to do it.

Meanings of appreciate

Some find it troubling that English is in a constant state of flux, while others take comfort in the in evolving nature of our language. To those in the latter camp, appreciate affords a welcome illustration of how shifts in meaning that were once considered vexatious may become commonly accepted. The grammarian Albert Ayres, writing in the 19th century, said of appreciate that “if any word in the language has cause to complain of ill-treatment, this one has.” Ayres believed the word could only mean what it originally meant, “to set a value on something,” and that its use in a sentence like “I appreciate him highly” was improper. Other self-appointed guardians of the language piled on additional complaints: Edmund Shaftesbury, in his 1897 The Book of Books, held that “Appreciate should not be used for increases in value.” Obviously, we have long since forgotten these quibbles – both senses of appreciate are used regularly, and nobody gives the matter a second thought.

Origin and Etymology of appreciate

Late Latin appretiatus, past participle of appretiare, from Latin ad- + pretium price — more at price

First Known Use: 1653

Synonym Discussion of appreciate

appreciate, value, prize, treasure, cherish mean to hold in high estimation. appreciate often connotes sufficient understanding to enjoy or admire a thing's excellence. appreciates fine wine value implies rating a thing highly for its intrinsic worth. values our friendship prize implies taking a deep pride in something one possesses. Americans prize their freedom treasure emphasizes jealously safeguarding something considered precious. a treasured memento cherish implies a special love and care for something. cherishes her children above all

synonyms see in addition understand

APPRECIATE Defined for English Language Learners


verb ap·pre·ci·ate \ə-ˈprē-shē-ˌāt, -ˈpri- also -ˈprē-sē-\

Definition of appreciate for English Language Learners

  • : to understand the worth or importance of (something or someone) : to admire and value (something or someone)

  • : to be grateful for (something)

  • —used to make a polite request

APPRECIATE Defined for Kids


verb ap·pre·ci·ate \ə-ˈprē-shē-ˌāt\

Definition of appreciate for Students




  1. 1 :  to be grateful for We appreciate your help.

  2. 2 :  to admire greatly and with understanding He appreciates poetry.

  3. 3 :  to be fully aware of I appreciate how important this is.

  4. 4 :  to increase in number or value Your investment should appreciate in time.

Law Dictionary


verb ap·pre·ci·ate \ə-ˈprē-shē-ˌāt, -ˈpri-, -sē-\

Legal Definition of appreciate



  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to judge or understand the significance of incapable of appreciating the difference between right and wrong — B. N. Cardozo

  3. 2 :  to raise the market value of — compare depreciate

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to rise in market value


\ə-ˌprē-shē-ˈā-shən, -ˌpri-, -sē-\ play noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up appreciate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to help become familiar with something

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • ludwig-richter-spring-has-arrived
  • Which is a synonym of upbraid?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.