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[uh-proov] /əˈpruv/
verb (used with object), approved, approving.
to speak or think favorably of; pronounce or consider agreeable or good; judge favorably:
to approve the policies of the administration.
to consent or agree to:
Father approved our plan to visit Chicago.
to confirm or sanction formally; ratify:
The Senate promptly approved the bill.
  1. to demonstrate; show.
  2. to make good; attest.
  3. to prove by trial.
  4. to convict.
verb (used without object), approved, approving.
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
1300-50; Middle English a(p)proven < Anglo-French, Old French aprover < Latin approbāre, equivalent to ap- ap-1 + probāre to prove
Related forms
approvedly, adverb
approvedness, noun
approvingly, adverb
nonapproved, adjective
preapprove, verb, preapproved, preapproving.
reapprove, verb, reapproved, reapproving.
self-approved, adjective
self-approving, adjective
unapproved, adjective
unapproving, adjective
unapprovingly, adverb
well-approved, adjective
Can be confused
approve, endorse (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. appreciate, esteem. 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 approv-ingly, 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. authorize, endorse, validate.
2, 3. reject. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for approvingly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In which attitude, with Mrs. Vint patting him approvingly on the back, they were surprised by Paul Carrick.

  • "That's the way to talk, darlint," said his mother, approvingly.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • "Ah; that proves you have a Kind Heart," remarked the Scarecrow, approvingly.

    The Tin Woodman of Oz L. Frank Baum
  • "Good for you, Max; I can see you've got an idea," cried out Jim, approvingly.

  • "Them's my sentiments," nodded Mr. Dibbs, approvingly, helping himself to more wine and pine-apple.

    Grif B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon
  • “My, but you are giving me a whole lot,” he said, watching her approvingly and encouragingly.

    David Dunne Belle Kanaris Maniates
  • "Yes; that is all very nicely told," the old gentleman said approvingly.

  • “You do manage to have a good time, all right,” he said approvingly.

British Dictionary definitions for approvingly


when intr, often foll by of. to consider fair, good, or right; commend (a person or thing)
(transitive) to authorize or sanction
(transitive) (obsolete) to demonstrate or prove by trial
Derived Forms
approvingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French aprover, from Latin approbāre to approve, from probāre to test, prove


(transitive) (law) to improve or increase the value of (waste or common land), as by enclosure
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
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Word Origin and History for approvingly



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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