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 The council is on track to approve a final plan for action in December, which would then go to the Secretary of Commerce and through the federal regulation process before becoming official. Elizabeth Earl For Alaska Journal Of Commerce, Anchorage Daily News, 16 June 2022 Both Russia and Ukraine would have to approve the plan, since both countries have deployed mines in the Black Sea near Ukraine during the war. William Mauldin, WSJ, 16 June 2022 Nicole Ganim, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Township Association, an organization that lobbies on behalf of the communities, said trustees must first pass a resolution to approve the plan. Kaylee Remington, cleveland, 13 June 2022 If local officials approve the plan, the 54-room hotel would become the eighth in town, but the first in Plantsville. Don Stacom, Hartford Courant, 10 June 2022 The public can comment on the budget throughout June, and the supervisors can make changes until the end of the month, when they are required to approve a final spending plan. Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 June 2022 Tuesday was the final day of a weeklong budget hearing process and the City Council has until five days before July 1 — the start of the next fiscal year — to approve a budget plan. Emily Opilo, Baltimore Sun, 8 June 2022 Parliament's upper house, which represents Germany's state governments, will still need to approve the plan. Geir Moulson, ajc, 3 June 2022 But to deal with the changes among younger students, its board of education voted earlier this month to approve a plan for equalizing enrollment at elementary schools in Midvale. Connor Sanders, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 May 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

24 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Approve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 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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