Definition of approve in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈpruːv/


[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
  • Councillors agreed to approve the proposals, so care home residents would not be disturbed by construction work.
  • If the Parliament approves proposals, it is possible for the Council to pass legislation by a majority vote instead of requiring unanimous approval from the members of the Council.
  • A huge expansion of a busy supermarket has been approved by planning officials.
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
  • 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.
  • Even though I don't believe she ever came to like him or approve of many of his views, she came to care about him.
  • Look, just because you have to tolerate something doesn't mean you have to approve of it!
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
admiring, appreciative, appreciating, favourable, respectful, esteeming, commendatory, commending, applauding, acclamatory, acclaiming, praising, flattering, congratulatory, rapturous
formal encomiastic, eulogistic, laudatory, panegyrical
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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ap|prove

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