Share this entry

approve Line breaks: ap|prove
Pronunciation: /əˈpruːv/

Definition of approve in English:


[with object]
1Officially agree to or accept as satisfactory: the budget was approved by parliament (as adjective approved) places on approved courses
More example sentences
  • The authority has a month to decide either to approve the merger or to carry out a more detailed investigation.
  • The Prime Minister approved the request on 9 February 1962.
  • Despite this presidential warning shot, the Senate narrowly approved both amendments.
accept, agree to, consent to, assent to, acquiesce in, concur in, accede to, give one's blessing to, bless, give one's seal/stamp of approval to, rubber-stamp, say yes to;
ratify, sanction, endorse, authorize, mandate, license, warrant, validate, pass;
confirm, support, back;
give one's permission/leave
informal give the go-ahead to, give the green light to, give the OK to, OK, give the thumbs up to, give the nod, say the word, buy
1.1 [no object] Believe that someone or something is good or acceptable: I don’t approve of romance they would not approve
More example sentences
  • Every concert was packed by enthusiastic audiences who clearly approved of what they heard.
  • No one in my family approved of my writing, and especially not my mother.
  • I wasn't sure there was any part of my life she did approve of and it wasn't as if she believed in quiet disapproval.
agree with, hold with, endorse, support, back, uphold, subscribe to, recommend, advocate, second, express one's approval of, be in favour of, favour, think well of, like, look on with favour, give one's blessing to, tolerate, appreciate, countenance, take kindly to;
be pleased with, admire, hold in regard/esteem, commend, embrace, applaud, acclaim, praise
informal go along with
2 archaic Prove; show: he approved himself ripe for military command
More example sentences
  • After that fourth trial, sundry of the kings and many of the lesser barons and knights and all of the commons cried out that these were trials enough, and that Arthur had assuredly approved himself to be rightwise King; wherefore they demanded that he should be made King indeed so that he might rule over them.
  • He approved himself to his comrades brave, generous, self-sacrificing.


Middle English: from Old French aprover, from Latin approbare (see approbate). The original sense was 'prove, demonstrate', later 'corroborate, confirm', hence 'pronounce to be satisfactory' ( late Middle English).

Words that rhyme with approve

groove, improve, move, prove, you've

Definition of approve in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Related Words