dis·​ap·​prove | \ ˌdis-ə-ˈprüv How to pronounce disapprove (audio) \
disapproved; disapproving; disapproves

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 \ ˌdis-​ə-​ˈprü-​viŋ-​lē How to pronounce disapprove (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for disapprove



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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 Older voters were more likely to disapprove of the job Congress is doing than younger voters, with 66% of voters over 65 years old saying Congress is doing a poor job. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, "Democrat-controlled Congress unpopular with overwhelming majority of voters: Poll," 18 Apr. 2021 Both groups have lost faith in the French state: The former tends to regard Macron as a technocrat whose loyalties lie with the metropolitan elite; the latter is more likely to disapprove of his handling of COVID-19. Yasmeen Serhan, The Atlantic, "France’s Biggest Pandemic Hurdle," 18 Mar. 2021 Less than 3 in 10 Americans (29%) approve of how Biden has handled the immigration situation at the Mexican border while a clear majority (55%) disapprove. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Why Republicans should be talking about this issue nonstop," 15 Apr. 2021 Twice as many Americans approve of his pandemic leadership than disapprove, a feat that his predecessor Donald Trump never accomplished. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, "Coronavirus updates from the Bay Area and beyond: Feb. 4-10, 2021," 18 Feb. 2021 Overall, 40% of Americans disapprove of Biden's handling of children reaching the nation's southern border without their parents, compared with just 24% who approve. Star Tribune, "AP-NORC poll: Border woes dent Biden approval on immigration," 5 Apr. 2021 An equal 57% of Americans disapprove of his approach on both issues, while just over 4 in 10 Americans approve. Kendall Karson, ABC News, "Biden receives high marks on COVID-19, lags on immigration, guns: POLL," 28 Mar. 2021 Three-quarters of Americans disapprove of the January 6 mob’s actions, and Trump’s seemingly immovable approval floor dropped by about more than six points. Time, "American Democracy Can't Survive Unless the Far Right Is Marginalized. Here's How to Do It," 19 Mar. 2021 Bry’s support was strongest among conservatives, older residents and voters who disapprove of the performance of incumbent Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who cannot run for re-election because of term limits. Lauryn Schroeder, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mayoral debate centers on homelessness, small business issues," 22 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for disapprove

Time Traveler

The first known use of disapprove was circa 1562

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Statistics for disapprove

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disapprove.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disapprove. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce disapprove (audio) \
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

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