ap·​prov·​al | \ ə-ˈprü-vəl How to pronounce approval (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for approval


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


disapprobation, disapproval, disfavor

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The bill still needs approval by the House of Lords. Kevin Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News, "British House of Commons passes bill seeking to avert no-deal Brexit, another blow to Boris Johnson," 4 Sep. 2019 Sometime in September, Boeing plans to submit a Max software update for approval by the Federal Aviation Administration, Muilenburg said in a speech at an industry conference, according to Travel Weekly. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "As the Boeing 737 Max Stays Grounded, Holiday Travel May Get More Expensive," 3 Sep. 2019 The department also said an even faster method of water-quality testing in now in the works and could be in action by this winter, pending approval by state regulators. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego County beefs up water-quality testing at beaches with focus on South Bay shorelines," 1 Sep. 2019 The construction of a new synagogue in Lincolnwood appears one step closer to reality following the unanimous recommendation of approval by the village’s zoning board on a set of variances for the property. Daniel I. Dorfman,, "Lincolnwood gives preliminary nod to synagogue," 27 Aug. 2019 The plan depends on approval by city and county officials, who are expected to vote on the $120 million bond proposal Tuesday. NBC News, "Newark to borrow $120 million to speed replacement of pipes blamed for lead in water," 26 Aug. 2019 The vote by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES) at the World Wildlife Conference paves the way for the measure's likely approval by its plenary next week. Fox News, "Wildlife committee votes to protect giraffes as endangered species for the first time," 23 Aug. 2019 The deal will require antitrust review and approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Dallas News, "Texas electricity giant Vistra grows its market share with $475 million deal for Ambit Energy," 20 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, according to the NFL Network, Brown is still hoping his preferred model — the Schutt AiR Advantage — can be given approval by the National Operating Committee on Standards of Athletic Equipment. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Brown’s agent seeks ‘permanent solution’ to helmet issue," 19 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of approval

1613, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for approval

see approve

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about approval

Statistics for approval

Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for approval

The first known use of approval was in 1613

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce approval (audio) \

Kids Definition of approval

1 : the belief that something is good or acceptable
2 : permission to do something

Keep scrolling for more

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).


readily or continually undergoing change

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!