[ uh-proov ]
See synonyms for: approveapprovedapprovingapprovedly on

verb (used with object),ap·proved, ap·prov·ing.
  1. to speak or think favorably of; pronounce or consider agreeable or good; judge favorably: to approve the policies of the administration.

  2. to consent or agree to: Father approved our plan to visit Chicago.

  1. to confirm or sanction formally; ratify: The Senate promptly approved the bill.

  2. Obsolete.

    • to demonstrate; show.

    • to make good; attest.

    • to prove by trial.

    • to convict.

verb (used without object),ap·proved, ap·prov·ing.
  1. to speak or consider favorably (sometimes followed by of:)Mother didn't approve of him.The boss wouldn't approve of the plan.He said that he approved.

Origin of approve

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English a(p)proven, from Anglo-French, Old French aprover, from Latin approbāre, equivalent to ap- ap-1 + probāre “to prove

synonym study For approve

1. Approve, commend, praise mean to have, and usually to express, a favorable opinion. To approve is to have a very good opinion, expressed or not, of someone or something: He approved the new plan. To commend is to speak or write approvingly, often formally and publicly, to congratulate or honor for something done: to commend a worker for a job well done. To praise is to speak or write, often in glowing and emotional terms, about one or more persons, actions, plans, etc.: to praise someone's courage.

Other words for approve

Opposites for approve

Other words from approve

  • ap·prov·ed·ly, adverb
  • ap·prov·ed·ness, noun
  • ap·prov·ing·ly, adverb
  • non·ap·proved, adjective
  • pre·ap·prov, verb, pre·ap·proved, pre·ap·prov·ing.
  • re·ap·prove, verb, re·ap·proved, re·ap·prov·ing.
  • self-ap·proved, adjective
  • self-ap·prov·ing, adjective
  • un·ap·proved, adjective
  • un·ap·prov·ing, adjective
  • un·ap·prov·ing·ly, adverb
  • well-ap·proved, adjective

Words that may be confused with approve

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

How to use approve in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for approve (1 of 2)


/ (əˈpruːv) /

  1. (when intr, often foll by of) to consider fair, good, or right; commend (a person or thing)

  2. (tr) to authorize or sanction

  1. (tr) obsolete to demonstrate or prove by trial

Origin of approve

C14: from Old French aprover, from Latin approbāre to approve, from probāre to test, prove

Derived forms of approve

  • approvingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for approve (2 of 2)


/ (əˈpruːv) /

  1. (tr) law to improve or increase the value of (waste or common land), as by enclosure

Origin of approve

C15: from Old French approuer to turn to advantage, from prou advantage

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