ap·​prov·​al | \ə-ˈprü-vəl \

Definition of approval 

: an act or instance of approving something : approbation The change is subject to the committee's approval.

on approval

: subject to a prospective buyer's acceptance or refusal stamps sent to collectors on approval

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Synonyms & Antonyms for approval


approbation, blessing, favor, imprimatur, OK (or okay)


disapprobation, disapproval, disfavor

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Examples of approval in a Sentence

children who never gained their parents' approval Do I have your approval to make the changes? The rally will be on May 19, provided the city gives its approval. The government has so far withheld approval of the drug. We were required to get approvals at each stage of the project.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko responded by ordering martial law in much of the country, a move that went into effect with parliamentary approval. Yuras Karmanau, The Seattle Times, "Putin derides Ukraine’s martial law as political trick," 28 Nov. 2018 No great art was ever created out of trying to get some institution’s approval. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Why Constance Wu Nearly Said No to 'Crazy Rich Asians'," 19 Nov. 2018 When Travers did eventually sign a deal, she was given a cut of the gross earnings and script approval. Rose Minutaglio, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Surprising Real-Life Inspiration for Mary Poppins," 16 Nov. 2018 One plays better for drama, one for comedy; both revolve around male approval and touch. Nora Whelan, SELF, "Believing Women Means Believing the Plus-Size Ones, Too," 21 Nov. 2018 And in July, Outlier got its first vote of industry approval in the form of five Emmy nominations for a modern reimagining of Fahrenheit 451 for HBO. Taylor Rainbolt, Glamour, "Alana Mayo, Michael B. Jordan's Secret Weapon, Is Poised to Take Over Hollywood," 12 Oct. 2018 Confident in her choice of lipsticks, her question isn't about approval but focused on affirmation. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Dreamcatcher Is the Goth-Inspired Girl Group Shaking Up the K-Pop World," 11 Sep. 2018 Kobach has been endorsed by Donald Trump, and the election is viewed as a contest to see whether or not the president’s stamp of approval matters the most in a GOP election. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Rashida Tlaib Is About to Be the First Muslim Woman in Congress," 8 Aug. 2018 Scientists wanted to build one of our next-generation giant telescopes on Mauna Kea and received approval from the state to do so. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Hawaiian Supreme Court gives go-ahead to giant telescope," 1 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'approval.' 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 approval

1613, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for approval

see approve

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Statistics for approval

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for approval

The first known use of approval was in 1613

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More Definitions for approval



English Language Learners Definition of approval

: the belief that something or someone is good or acceptable : a good opinion of someone or something

: permission to do something : acceptance of an idea, action, plan, etc.


ap·​prov·​al | \ə-ˈprü-vəl \

Kids Definition of approval

1 : the belief that something is good or acceptable

2 : permission to do something

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More from Merriam-Webster on approval

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with approval

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for approval

Spanish Central: Translation of approval

Nglish: Translation of approval for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of approval for Arabic Speakers

Comments on approval

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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