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 Temporary video visitation will be available to approved visitors and inmates who have visitation privileges, the department announced. Alison Steinbach, azcentral, "Arizona coronavirus update: 18,465 confirmed cases as 702 new reports; 885 known deaths as of Friday," 29 May 2020 During its online Zoom conference meeting Tuesday (May 26) City Council voted 7-0 to approve a new five-year contract with Kimble. cleveland, "South Euclid inks new contract with Kimble for rubbish, recyclables pickup," 29 May 2020 The Louisiana House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 71-24 to approve Senate Bill 130, which provides for a local option election on the November ballot. David Jacobs, Washington Examiner, "Louisiana legislators approve letting voters consider legalizing sports betting in their areas," 28 May 2020 The council then voted unanimously to approve the settlement. oregonlive, "Portland approves paying $125,000 to man injured in fatal I-84 crash during police chase," 28 May 2020 Europe's plan still needs to be approved by the 27 EU member states, with the aid unlikely to arrive before 2021. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Facebook and Twitter shares fall as Trump targets social media," 28 May 2020 The proposal must pass each house of the Legislature by a two-thirds majority before going to voters, who would need to approve it by a simple majority. Michael Cabanatuan,, "New effort to legalize sports betting in California cites coronavirus’ attack on state economy," 28 May 2020 The 20 Premier League clubs voted on Thursday to approve a plan, known as Project Restart, that would see the final 92 games of the season played behind closed doors in the hopes of finishing some time in late July or early August. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "English Premier League Plans to Return on June 17," 28 May 2020 According to Deadline, which was the first to report the news, Paramount still has to approve the deal. Nick Romano,, "Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon heads to Apple TV+," 28 May 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

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Approve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 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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