dis·​ap·​prove | \-ˈprüv \

Definition of disapprove 

transitive verb

1 : to pass unfavorable judgment on

2 : to refuse approval to : reject

intransitive verb

: to feel or express disapproval

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Other Words from disapprove

disapprover noun
disapprovingly \ -​ˈprü-​viŋ-​lē \ adverb

Examples of disapprove in a Sentence

She married him even though her parents disapproved. The treaty was disapproved by the Senate.

Recent Examples on the Web

Two-thirds of Americans disapprove with the administration’s decision to remove immigrant children from their parents after crossing the border, according to a poll by CNN. Andrea Zelinski, Houston Chronicle, "Abbott, Patrick quiet on ‘zero tolerance policy’," 19 June 2018 If a caseworker disapproved of a client’s unmade bed, a check might disappear. Livia Gershon, Longreads, "The Prosperity Plea," 30 May 2018 The talk show host, 61, touched on reports that Selena Gomez‘s mother, Mandy Teefey, disapproved of her relationship with Justin Bieber on Steve Harvey. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Steve Harvey Had His Daughter’s Fiancé Followed When They Started Dating," 10 Feb. 2018 Randa Kamel, who runs a major belly dance school in Cairo that attracts students from across the world, was beaten as a teenager by a father who disapproved of her dancing. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Foreign Belly Dancers? Egyptians Shake Their Heads (and Hips)," 8 July 2018 While about half of voters disapprove as Ford as leader, the Tories remain poised to win a majority government, according to a Forum Research poll published Sunday. Bloomberg.com, "Ontario Gets a Taste of Populism With Doug Ford at Tory Helm," 10 Mar. 2018 While a plurality of Americans still disapproves of the law, Republicans can point to the trend line — and the fact that the tax cuts haven’t actually taken effect yet, but will next month — and predict that vindication will soon be theirs. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "The Trump Tax Cuts Will Not Save Republicans This Fall," 29 Jan. 2018 Women are similarly 21 points more likely than men to disapprove strongly of Trump’s job performance. Jenna Portnoy, Washington Post, "How Trump is affecting Rep. Comstock’s re-election bid," 26 June 2018 The unlikely coalition supporting the meeting with Kim includes 68% of women, 67% of liberals, 65% of nonwhites and 62% of Democrats -- all groups that tend to disapprove of the President by wide margins. Ryan Struyk, CNN, "The surprise coalition of Trump critics supporting the Kim Jong Un meeting," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disapprove.' 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 disapprove

circa 1562, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for disapprove

Last Updated

26 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for disapprove

The first known use of disapprove was circa 1562

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More Definitions for disapprove



English Language Learners Definition of disapprove

: to believe that someone or something is bad or wrong : to not approve of someone or something

: to officially refuse to approve or accept (something)


dis·​ap·​prove | \ˌdi-sə-ˈprüv \
disapproved; disapproving

Kids Definition of disapprove

: to dislike or be against someone or something Mom disapproved of the TV show.

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Comments on disapprove

What made you want to look up disapprove? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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