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90s Slang You Should Know


[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.
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Examples from the Web for self-approval
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And it was with a slight feeling of self-approval that Beata went up to bed.

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

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

    The Bachelors William Dana Orcutt
  • The sense of self-approval was so strong in him that as he traveled homeward he felt the great moment to have come.

  • It was an inspiration and Livingstone shook himself with self-approval.

    Santa Claus's Partner Thomas Nelson Page
  • In the religious ceremonial of the  Jews both aspects of this self-approval stand revealed.

    The Antichrist F. W. Nietzsche
  • My self-approval when I ticked an entry was quite a luxurious sensation.

    Great Expectations Charles Dickens
  • I shall go out into the world with the glow of self-approval (and rapid motion) warming my system.

    Vice Versa F. Anstey
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
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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
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Idioms and Phrases with self-approval
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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