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

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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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 Some of the loudest voices have displayed astonishing hypocrisy on this issue, with celebrities deserving the most approbation. Michael Lynch, Forbes, 4 June 2021 Adding to the appeal is the cachet of A-list approbation. Steven Levy, Wired, 14 May 2021 But unlike his predecessor, overall public approbation of his presidency so far has remained steady at a positive level, in the mid-50s, though Americans grade him negatively on immigration. Star Tribune, 24 Apr. 2021 His search — for himself, for love, for approbation, for confidence — has become the most vivid subject of his music. Star Tribune, 24 Dec. 2020 But Pankhurst had long since dispensed with a womanly need for approbation. Deborah Cohen, The Atlantic, 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, 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, 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, 8 Sep. 2020 See More

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.

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 17 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of approbation for Spanish Speakers


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