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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Sixty-one percent of voters disapprove of Mr. Biden’s handling of the economy, while only 36% approve, according to a Fox News poll conducted April 28 to May 1. Karl Rove, WSJ, 11 May 2022 Monroe's estate has since said that the late icon would approve of Kardashian's rewear at the Met Gala, according to TMZ. Glenn Garner,, 9 May 2022 The same poll found only 28% of Americans approve of how Biden is handling inflation compared with 68% who disapprove of his stewardship on the issue. Courtney Subramanianstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2022 There were also red jumpers, paired with pink cargo pants (yes, the type that Regina George would approve of for Wednesdays!), as well flower chokers and fluffy bags in the colour palette. Frances Solá-santiago,, 1 May 2022 The amendments brought forward by the current group of city commissioners would require four commissioners — or a supermajority — to approve of the actions. Ryan Gillespie,, 18 Feb. 2022 The Senate will require a majority of votes to approve Justice Stephen Breyer’s replacement, not 60 votes. Philip Elliott, Time, 26 Jan. 2022 An Emerson Polling survey of Ohio from February found that 40 percent of Ohioans approve of Biden’s job performance while 54 percent disapprove. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 29 Apr. 2022 Bathe your pets with a shampoo that your veterinarian would approve of, and use a flea comb, especially around your pet's face and neck and near the base of the tail. Jamie Kim, Good Housekeeping, 29 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About approve

Time Traveler for approve

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near approve



approved school

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Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Approve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for approve


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

More from Merriam-Webster on approve

Nglish: Translation of approve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of approve for Arabic Speakers


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