[ uh-proo-vuhl ]
See synonyms for approval on
  1. the act of approving; approbation.

  2. formal permission or sanction.

  1. Philately. one of a group of selected stamps sent by a dealer to a prospective customer for examination and either purchase or return.

Idioms about approval

  1. 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

Other words from approval

  • non·ap·prov·al, noun
  • pre·ap·prov·al, noun
  • pro·ap·prov·al, adjective
  • re·ap·prov·al, noun
  • self-ap·prov·al, noun

Words Nearby approval Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use approval in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for approval


/ (əˈpruːvəl) /

  1. the act of approving

  2. formal agreement; sanction

  1. a favourable opinion; commendation

  2. 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with approval


see on approval; seal of approval.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.