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verb (used with object), dis·ap·proved, dis·ap·prov·ing.
  1. to think (something) wrong or reprehensible; censure or condemn in opinion.
  2. to withhold approval from; decline to sanction: The Senate disapproved the nominations.
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verb (used without object), dis·ap·proved, dis·ap·prov·ing.
  1. to have an unfavorable opinion; express disapproval (usually followed by of).
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Origin of disapprove

First recorded in 1475–85; dis-1 + approve
Related formsdis·ap·prov·er, noundis·ap·prov·ing·ly, adverbpost·dis·ap·proved, adjective
Can be confuseddeny disapprove disprove rebut refute


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1. praise.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

suspiciously, skeptically, askew, dubiously, obliquely, sideways, disapprovingly, disdainfully, sidelong

Examples from the Web for disapprovingly

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • M. de Rivarol, intrigued by his mirth, scowled upon him disapprovingly.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • “There must have been eggs in that hay,” said Twaddles disapprovingly.

  • "And you are keeping on drinking all the time, they say," said Foma, disapprovingly.

    Foma Gordyeff

    Maxim Gorky

  • The old whaler looked at him thoughtfully and disapprovingly.

  • The nurse looked at her disapprovingly, but after all it made little difference.


    Kathleen Norris

British Dictionary definitions for disapprovingly


  1. (intr often foll by of) to consider wrong, bad, etc
  2. (tr) to withhold approval from
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Derived Formsdisapproving, adjectivedisapprovingly, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for disapprovingly



late 15c., "disprove;" as the reverse of approve it is first attested 1640s. See dis- + approve. Related: Disapproved; disapproving.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper