verb ap·pre·ci·ate \ ə-ˈprē-shē-ˌāt , -ˈpri- also -ˈprē-sē- \
|Updated on: 15 Aug 2018

Definition of appreciate

appreciated; appreciating
1 a : to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of
  • appreciate the difference between right and wrong
b : 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 it
d : to recognize with gratitude
  • I appreciate your kindness.
2 : to increase the value of
: to increase in number or value
  • Your investment should appreciate over time.


play \-ˌā-tər\ noun


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 SoggWine Spectator15 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 FoxSaveurDecember 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 BoothNewsweek7 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 SouthgateThe Fall of Rome2002
  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.

Recent Examples of appreciate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'appreciate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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

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


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

appreciated; appreciating
1 : to be grateful for
  • We appreciate your help.
2 : to admire greatly and with understanding
  • He appreciates poetry.
3 : to be fully aware of
  • I appreciate how important this is.
4 : to increase in number or value Your investment should appreciate in time.

Synonym Discussion of appreciate

appreciate, treasure, and cherish mean to think very much of something. appreciate is used when a person understands and enjoys the true worth of something.
    • I can appreciate good music.
treasure is often used of something of great sentimental value that is thought of as precious and is kept in a safe place.
    • Parents treasure gifts that their children make.
cherish is used when a person loves and cares for something very much and often for a long time.
    • We cherished their friendship for many years.

Law Dictionary


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

legal Definition of appreciate

appreciated; appreciating
1 : to judge or understand the significance of
  • incapable of appreciating the difference between right and wrong
  • —B. N. Cardozo
2 : to raise the market value of — compare depreciate
: to rise in market value


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

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excessive admiration or flattery

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