approve

verb ap·prove \ ə-ˈprüv \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

Definition of approve

approved; approving
transitive verb
1 :to have or express a favorable opinion of
  • couldn't approve such conduct
2 a :to accept as satisfactory
  • hopes she will approve the date of the meeting
b :to give formal or official sanction (see 1sanction 4c) to :ratify
  • Congress approved the proposed budget.
3 obsolete :prove, attest
intransitive verb
:to take a favorable view
  • doesn't approve of fighting

Examples of approve in a Sentence

  1. I don't care if all the other parents are letting their kids do it; I still don't approve.

  2. The state has approved the building plans, so work on the new school can begin immediately.

  3. Your supervisor must approve the report before it can be sent.

Recent Examples of approve from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of approve

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

APPROVE Defined for English Language Learners

approve

verb

Definition of approve for English Language Learners

  • : to believe that something or someone is good or acceptable

  • : to officially accept (an idea, action, plan, etc.)


APPROVE Defined for Kids

approve

verb ap·prove \ ə-ˈprüv \

Definition of approve for Students

approved; approving
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.

Law Dictionary

approve

transitive verb ap·prove

legal Definition of approve

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


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to praise usually to excess

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