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 Trump is actively inciting supporters to amass in Washington to pressure Congress to not approve the 2020 elections results. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | COLBERT I. KING: How January will test U.S.," 4 Jan. 2021 Congress will vote this week to approve the 2020 election's results naming Biden the winner. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "'Disgraceful': Biden transition lawyer skewers Trump over reported Georgia election phone call," 3 Jan. 2021 Alabama’s Constitution prohibits lotteries and most forms of gambling, so the Legislature has to approve a constitutional amendment to make major changes, such as allowing a lottery or casinos. Mike Cason |, al, "Legislators face decisions on lottery, casinos after Alabama gambling report," 2 Jan. 2021 With the Pac-12 the last remaining conference to approve a football season, the receiver called Helton in late September and got the ball rolling on a letter that was eventually published and sent to Newsom. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "USC wide receiver Amon-ra St. Brown declares for the NFL draft," 2 Jan. 2021 Federal regulators have been slow to approve rapid virus tests that could be used at home without a prescription, similar to pregnancy tests. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "America Has Not Fixed Its Deadliest Pandemic Errors," 31 Dec. 2020 Still, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer again attempted to approve the legislation by unanimous consent, but McConnell objected, blocking the request for quick action by the Senate to boost the checks. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "McConnell dashes hopes for $2,000 coronavirus relief checks in standalone bill," 31 Dec. 2020 This is safe to approve since the app needs permission to check if other apps are using the mic or camera. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "10 smart tech tricks you’ll wish you knew sooner," 31 Dec. 2020 The race for auditor was so close that only 75 votes separated Democratic winner William White from Republican incumbent Bob Grogan, who is asking a DuPage County judge to approve a full recount. Rafael Guerrero,, "No shortage of news or drama in Naperville in 2020, as our top 10 stories of the year show," 31 Dec. 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

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Approve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on approve

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