ap·​prove | \ ə-ˈprüv How to pronounce approve (audio) \
approved; approving

Definition of approve

transitive verb

1 : to have or express a favorable opinion of couldn't approve such conduct
2a : to accept as satisfactory hopes she will approve the date of the meeting
b : to give formal or official sanction (see sanction entry 1 sense 4c) to : ratify Congress approved the proposed budget.
3 obsolete : prove, attest

intransitive verb

: to take a favorable view doesn't approve of fighting

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Choose the Right Synonym for approve

approve, endorse, sanction, accredit, certify mean to have or express a favorable opinion of. approve often implies no more than this but may suggest considerable esteem or admiration. the parents approve of the marriage endorse suggests an explicit statement of support. publicly endorsed her for Senator sanction implies both approval and authorization. the President sanctioned covert operations accredit and certify usually imply official endorsement attesting to conformity to set standards. the board voted to accredit the college must be certified to teach

Examples of approve in a Sentence

I don't care if all the other parents are letting their kids do it; I still don't approve. The state has approved the building plans, so work on the new school can begin immediately. Your supervisor must approve the report before it can be sent.
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Recent Examples on the Web

On August 13, the Milam County Commissioner’s Court approved a 10-year tax abatement for Bitmain, under which the company would get an 80 percent property tax discount for the first five years. Mark Dent, WIRED, "The Hard-Luck Texas Town That Bet on Bitcoin—and Lost," 11 July 2019 However, approving that revote requires agreement from at least seven of the legislators in Wasilla, and there was no immediate indication Wednesday that the absent lawmakers will travel to Juneau. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "With 22 Republicans absent, the Alaska Legislature failed to override Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget vetoes. What’s next?," 11 July 2019 Then in 1987, Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment to permanently earmark lottery profits for education. Rich Exner,, "Ohio Lottery has biggest year yet, with $1.15 billion profit for state’s education fund," 11 July 2019 But Beresford said this will be a tight timeline Most recently, Carmel voters approved an operational referendum in 2017, which replaced and slightly increased an expiring 2013 tax rate. Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "Why Carmel Schools says it needs a safety referendum," 10 July 2019 More than 90% of Republican veterans approve, compared with 81% of Republicans overall. Donovan Slack, USA TODAY, "Majority of veterans say U.S. military campaigns in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan not worth it, poll finds," 10 July 2019 Just on Monday, the Goodyear City Council approved plans for new data centers for Compass Datacenters near Bullard Avenue and Yuma Road. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "50 new jobs come to Glendale as Coca-Cola plant expands," 10 July 2019 In 2000, the Food and Drug Administration approved a medication called mifepristone, which became widely known as RU-486. Anna North, Vox, "A boom in at-home abortions is coming," 9 July 2019 During a meeting May 7, the village board unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding between the team and the village that called for an amendment of the stadium lease. Jeremy Mikula,, "Chicago Fire reach deal with Bridgeview to leave SeatGeek Stadium for $65.5 million," 9 July 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for approve

Middle English, from Anglo-French apruer, approver, from Latin approbare, from ad- + probare to prove — more at prove

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Statistics for approve

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for approve

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

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More Definitions for approve



English Language Learners Definition of approve

: to believe that something or someone is good or acceptable
: to officially accept (an idea, action, plan, etc.)


ap·​prove | \ ə-ˈprüv How to pronounce approve (audio) \
approved; approving

Kids Definition of approve

1 : to think of as good I don't approve of the way those children behave.
2 : to accept as satisfactory The school committee approved the new curriculum.


transitive verb
approved; approving

Legal Definition of approve

: to give formal or official sanction to : ratify Congress approved the proposed budget

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More from Merriam-Webster on approve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with approve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for approve

Spanish Central: Translation of approve

Nglish: Translation of approve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of approve for Arabic Speakers

Comments on approve

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