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 The federal government, led by a Republican president, was running up record deficits even before Congress approved some $3 trillion this year to combat the coronavirus. Joe Garofoli,, "Reopen California coronavirus protests ‘identical’ to early Tea Party rallies, leader says," 1 May 2020 Last week, the agency allowed Oregon distilleries to start offering their own products for home delivery, including both spirits and some canned and bottled cocktails already approved for sale. oregonlive, "Looking for cocktails to-go? Vancouver restaurants have you covered," 1 May 2020 In addition to approving all candidates for office, the Guardian Council has veto power over all legislation passed by parliament. Golnar Motevalli,, "How Iran’s Hard-Liners Got Campaign Boost From Trump," 1 May 2020 Despite the vocal criticism from the president and some Michiganders, a Detroit Regional Chamber poll released last week showed 57% of Michiganders approve of Whitmer's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Jack Turman, CBS News, "Michigan governor extends coronavirus state of emergency, but could face legal challenges," 1 May 2020 Museums and libraries could open if city officials approved. Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, "HAR to Realtors: Open houses should be virtual until mid-May," 1 May 2020 Once the challenge strain is approved, dosing studies would need to be conducted to determine how much virus to expose volunteers to in the actual vaccine trials. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Infect volunteers with Covid-19 in the name of research? A proposal lays bare a minefield of issues," 1 May 2020 If the North Carolina bill is approved, businesses in the state with no more than 100 employees can apply for a Golden LEAF loan up to $50,000. Nyamekye Daniel, Washington Examiner, "North Carolina Senate's COVID-19 recovery package includes $125M for small businesses," 30 Apr. 2020 An AmEx compliance screening system initially declined the bank’s application request, but additional approval attempts caused the system to time out and the application was automatically approved, OFAC said. Dylan Tokar, WSJ, "AmEx Mistakenly Issued Card to German With Ties to Nuclear-Weapons Black Market, Treasury Says," 30 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for approve

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for approve

Last Updated

4 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Approve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for approve


How to pronounce approve (audio)

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.
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for approve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with approve

Spanish Central: Translation of approve

Nglish: Translation of approve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of approve for Arabic Speakers

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