Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[uh-proo-vuh l] /əˈpru vəl/
the act of approving; approbation.
formal permission or sanction.
Philately. one of a group of selected stamps sent by a dealer to a prospective customer for examination and either purchase or return.
on approval, without obligation to buy unless satisfactory to the customer upon trial or examination and, otherwise, returnable:
We ship merchandise on approval.
Origin of approval
First recorded in 1680-90; approve + -al2
Related forms
nonapproval, noun
preapproval, noun
proapproval, adjective
reapproval, noun
self-approval, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for self-approval
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A grin of self-approval at his own witticism closed this speech.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore Charles James Lever
  • Really Sweet Oil Bob felt a glow of self-approval as he talked.

    A Man of Two Countries Alice Harriman
  • Have you given thought to the Gospel of self-approval since we talked?

    What Is Man? And Other Stories Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • I do not think you have cause for self-blame at all, but, on the contrary, have for self-approval.

    A Prince of Anahuac James A. Porter
  • And it was with a slight feeling of self-approval that Beata went up to bed.

    Rosy Mrs. Molesworth
  • The first is one of self-approval, the second one of self-contempt.

  • Yet he had taken no step with more complete confidence and self-approval.

    Peccavi E. W. Hornung
  • He was immensely pleased with himself, and felt entitled to his self-approval.

    The Bachelors William Dana Orcutt
  • It was an inspiration and Livingstone shook himself with self-approval.

    Santa Claus's Partner Thomas Nelson Page
British Dictionary definitions for self-approval


the act of approving
formal agreement; sanction
a favourable opinion; commendation
on approval, (of articles for sale) for examination with an option to buy or return
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for self-approval



1680s, from approve + -al (2). According to OED, "Rare bef. 1800; now generally used instead of" approvance (1590s, from French aprovance).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with self-approval
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for approval

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for self

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for self-approval