• synonyms


See more synonyms for approve on Thesaurus.com
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.
  3. to confirm or sanction formally; ratify: The Senate promptly approved the bill.
  4. Obsolete.
    1. to demonstrate; show.
    2. to make good; attest.
    3. to prove by trial.
    4. to convict.
Show More
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.
Show More

Origin of approve

1300–50; Middle English a(p)proven < Anglo-French, Old French aprover < Latin approbāre, equivalent to ap- ap-1 + probāre to prove
Related formsap·prov·ed·ly, adverbap·prov·ed·ness, nounap·prov·ing·ly, adverbnon·ap·proved, adjectivepre·ap·prove, verb, pre·ap·proved, pre·ap·prov·ing.re·ap·prove, verb, re·ap·proved, re·ap·prov·ing.self-ap·proved, adjectiveself-ap·prov·ing, adjectiveun·ap·proved, adjectiveun·ap·prov·ing, adjectiveun·ap·prov·ing·ly, adverbwell-ap·proved, adjective
Can be confusedapprove endorse


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Synonym study

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.


2, 3. reject.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for unapproved

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Already the Government, not unapproved, carries letters and parcels for us.

  • The flagellants were a phenomenon of seething, popular passion, outside of the church and unapproved by its authority.


    William Graham Sumner

  • We look about our houses and find that which we bought last month unapproved by the current style.

    Child and Country

    Will Levington Comfort

British Dictionary definitions for unapproved


  1. not having been given approval or sanction
Show More


  1. (when intr, often foll by of) to consider fair, good, or right; commend (a person or thing)
  2. (tr) to authorize or sanction
  3. (tr) obsolete to demonstrate or prove by trial
Show More
Derived Formsapprovingly, adverb

Word Origin

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


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

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for unapproved


early 15c., from un- (1) "not" + past participle of approve.

Show More



c.1300, "to demonstrate, prove;" mid-14c., "to attest (something) with authority," from Old French aprover (Modern French approuver) "approve, agree to," from Latin approbare "to assent to as good, regard as good," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + probare "to try, test something (to find if it is good)," from probus "honest, genuine" (see prove).

The meaning extended late 14c. to "to sanction, endorse, confirm formally" then to "assent to (something) as good" (early 15c.), especially in reference to the actions of authorities, parliaments, etc. Related: Approved; approving.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper