ap·​pro·​ba·​tion | \ ˌa-prə-ˈbā-shən How to pronounce approbation (audio) \

Definition of approbation

1a : commendation, praise a plan that has won the approbation of the mayor
b : an act of approving formally or officially
2 obsolete : proof

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Other Words from approbation

approbatory \ ˈa-​prə-​bə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce approbation (audio) , ə-​ˈprō-​bə-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for approbation



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Did You Know?

Approbation is similar in meaning to "approval," and it is also very close to "approval" etymologically. Both words trace back to the Latin verb approbare, which means "to prove" or "to approve." Approbation meant "proof" when it first appeared in English in the 14th century, and by the early 1500s it had come to mean "formal or official approval," a sense it still retains in certain ecclesiastical contexts. Today, however, we mostly use "approbation" in the looser sense of "approval, admiration, or praise." The related verb approbate means "to approve or sanction," and the adjective approbatory means "expressing approval or commendation."

Examples of approbation in a Sentence

The company has even received the approbation of its former critics. that plan has the approbation of the school board
Recent Examples on the Web His search — for himself, for love, for approbation, for confidence — has become the most vivid subject of his music. Star Tribune, "Shawn Mendes ponders the heavy price of superstardom on new album 'Wonder'," 24 Dec. 2020 But Pankhurst had long since dispensed with a womanly need for approbation. Deborah Cohen, The Atlantic, "The Real Legacy of the Suffrage Movement," 20 Dec. 2020 However, that approbation has also led many to embrace conspiracy theories floating around in the media and on social media regarding the validity of the U.S. vote, Avery Ng, a pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong, said. NBC News, "Pro-democracy activists angered by Trump's election fraud claims," 8 Dec. 2020 This is especially the case given the fact that slavery has received the universal approbation of most cultures across history. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "Patriotic History Is Comparative History," 22 Sep. 2020 Aside from pay, benefits and the approbation of their fellow citizens, a universal correlate of job satisfaction is a belief that the people in charge are making good decisions. WSJ, "Trump vs. the Military (or the Politicians)?," 8 Sep. 2020 There is now a market, measured in attention and approbation, for anyone who can sniff out a Karen. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "The Karen War Will Never End," 19 Aug. 2020 Those alliances helped define the nation; America’s presence on the international stage shone brighter with Humboldt’s approbation, an imprimatur many in the U.S. assiduously cultivated. Eleanor Jones Harvey, Smithsonian Magazine, "Who Was Alexander von Humboldt?," 24 Mar. 2020 And as a social philosophy eugenics also received approbation and financial support from the wealthy and other elites—particularly in the U.S. Osagie K. Obasogie, Scientific American, "Commentary: The Eugenics Legacy of the Nobelist Who Fathered IVF," 4 Oct. 2013

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

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First Known Use of approbation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for approbation

see approbate

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The first known use of approbation was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Approbation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of approbation

formal : praise or approval

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