Word of the Day : December 8, 2018


noun ap-ruh-BAY-shun


1 : commendation, praise

2 : an act of approving formally or officially

Did You Know?

Approbation is similar in meaning to approval, and it is also very close to approval etymologically. Both words trace back to the Latin verb approbare, which means "to prove" or "to approve." Approbation meant "proof" when it first appeared in English in the 14th century, and by the early 1500s it had come to mean "formal or official approval," a sense it still retains in certain ecclesiastical contexts. Today, however, we mostly use approbation in the looser sense of "approval, admiration, or praise." The related verb approbate means "to approve or sanction," and the adjective approbatory means "expressing approval or commendation."


"In 2001, I moved to Lima to study literature at a local university. I fell in with a group of art students—painters, illustrators, sculptors—and even after I'd quit attending classes I'd still visit them, spending long afternoons on the cement floor of a cramped studio that two of them shared. This group became my first real friends in Peru who were not family, and their approbation meant a lot to me." — Daniel Alarcón, The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2017

"The role of a theater, she argued, was not to adjudicate political issues or get the approbation of minority groups, but, rather, to create a space between art and the public." — Dan Bilefsky, The New York Times, 12 July 2018

Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of approbation: s _ n _ t _ _ n.



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