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 disapprovingly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for disapprove


decline, deny, disallow, negative, nix, refuse, reject, reprobate, withhold


allow, concede, grant, let, OK (or okay), permit

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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

In April, Zang and eight other parents from the Residents Alliance went to meet John Liu, the state senator who chairs the New York City Education Committee, which plays a key role in approving or disapproving the mayor’s reform plan. Rong Xiaoqing, National Review, "The Rise of the Chinese-American Right," 17 July 2019 Democratic voters approve of the Legislature by nearly 2 to 1 and Republicans disapprove by almost 8 to 1. George Skelton, The Mercury News, "Skelton: Wow — California’s Legislature is even less popular with voters than Trump," 7 June 2019 Democratic voters approve of the Legislature by nearly 2 to 1 and Republicans disapprove by almost 8 to 1. George Skelton, latimes.com, "Trump is more popular with California voters than the state Legislature, new poll finds," 6 June 2019 The Electoral College created a sort of board of our betters that would approve or disapprove the choices of the electorate. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "The Crisis of Our Constitution," 10 Jan. 2019 In that wonderful March CNN survey, 28 percent of respondents approved strongly of Trump; 46 percent disapproved strongly. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Why Are Trump’s Approval Ratings on the Rise?," 28 Mar. 2018 More than half of the state disapproved, and there’s little reason to think that his numbers have improved. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "Arpaio is a bad candidate with a bad message at a bad time," 9 Jan. 2018 Some of Plank’s teammates disapproved as well, as did some of the reporters who covered the team. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 82, Doug Plank," 16 June 2019 Wheeler disapproves, but that doesn’t keep her from visiting with her daughter, Dora Francis Lee Thurber (likely Wheeler’s nephew) renovates the kitchen and baths of Pennyroyal, then sells it to the Reynal family. Amanda Sims, House Beautiful, "The Reno of This Historic Catskills Cottage Is Impeccable," 23 May 2019

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

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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

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


to complain fretfully

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