verb: 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. 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. 5. (when intr, often foll by of) to consider fair, good, or right; commend (a person or thing). 6. to authorize or sanction. 7. to have or express a favorable opinion of: couldn't approve such conduct. 8. to accept as satisfactory: hopes she will approve the date of the meeting. 9. to give formal or official sanction to : ratify: Congress approved the proposed budget. 10. to take a favorable view: doesn't approve of fighting. Law: to improve or increase the value of (waste or common land), as by enclosure. Obsolete: 1. to demonstrate; show. 2. to make good; attest. 3. to prove by trial. 4. to convict. 5. (tr) to demonstrate or prove by trial. Sanction: explicit or official approval, permission, or ratification : approbation. Examples: I don't care if all the other parents are letting their kids do it; I still don't approve. The state has approved the building plans, so work on the new school can begin immediately. Related Words: favor, accept, authorize, advocate, okay, license, uphold, ratify, support, endorse, confirm, sign, certify, sanction, back, recommend, establish, agree, permit, admire. Synonyms: appreciate, esteem. authorize, endorse, validate. accredit, approbate, authorize, clear, confirm, finalize, formalize, homologate, OK (or okay), ratify, sanction, warrant. Antonyms: decline, deny, disallow, disapprove, negative, reject, turn down, veto. 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. Synonym Study 2: Approve, endorse, sanction, accredit, certify mean to have or express a favorable opinion of. Approve often implies no more than this but may suggest considerable esteem or admiration: the parents approve of the marriage. Endorse suggests an explicit statement of support: publicly endorsed her for Senator. Sanction implies both approval and authorization: the President sanctioned covert operations. Accredit and certify usually imply official endorsement attesting to conformity to set standards: the board voted to accredit the college must be certified to teach. Origin: 1300–50; Middle English a(p)proven < Anglo-French, Old French aprover < Latin approbāre, equivalent to ap- ap-1 + probāre to prove. C14: from Old French aprover, from Latin approbāre to approve, from probāre to test, prove. C15: from Old French approuer to turn to advantage, from prou advantage. First Known Use: 14th century. History and Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French apruer, approver, from Latin approbare, from ad- + probare to prove — more at prove. Source 1, Source 2.