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Approve vs. Authorize: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on December 22, 2023
Approve means to officially agree with or accept as satisfactory, while authorize means to give official permission or power to do something.

Key Differences

Approve generally implies a positive opinion or endorsement of an idea, action, or item, reflecting acceptance or agreement. Authorize, however, implies a formal granting of power or rights, often by someone in a position of authority.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023
When one approves something, they are often expressing a personal or organizational acceptance or satisfaction with it. To authorize means to officially empower someone or something to take a specific action, often legally.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023
Approval is often used in contexts where judgment or acceptance by an individual or group is required. Authorization, on the other hand, typically involves a legal or formal empowerment to act in a certain capacity.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 22, 2023
The act of approving can be subjective and based on personal or collective preferences or standards. Authorizing, in contrast, is an objective act that usually follows set rules or procedures to grant permission or power.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023
Approval does not necessarily grant the power or right to act, but rather signifies agreement or endorsement. Authorization directly grants permission or power, often associated with specific roles, responsibilities, or tasks.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 22, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Officially agree with or accept
Give official permission or power
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Context

Personal or organizational
Legal or formal
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Action

Expressing acceptance or agreement
Empowering someone to act
Sumera Saeed
Dec 22, 2023

Basis

Subjective, based on preferences
Objective, following rules
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Outcome

Agreement or endorsement
Permission or power to act
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023
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Approve and Authorize Definitions

Approve

Approve means to formally accept or endorse something.
The committee approved the new policy after thorough discussion.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Authorize

Authorize means to empower someone to act.
The government authorized the construction of new highways.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Approve

Approve involves making a judgment of satisfaction.
The architect approved the final design plans.
Janet White
Dec 02, 2023

Authorize

Authorize means to give official permission.
The director authorized the release of confidential documents.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Approve

Approve can indicate personal or official agreement.
She approved the proposed budget for the event.
Harlon Moss
Dec 02, 2023

Authorize

Authorize can imply legal or formal consent.
The committee was authorized to make the final decision.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Approve

Approve can mean to express favor or support.
The manager approved of the team's innovative approach.
Janet White
Dec 02, 2023

Authorize

Authorize involves granting authority or power.
The CEO authorized her assistant to sign the contract.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Approve

Approve means to ratify or sanction something.
The board approved the merger between the two companies.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Authorize

Authorize means to officially sanction an action.
The president authorized military action in the region.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Approve

To consent to officially or formally; confirm or sanction
The Senate approved the treaty.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Authorize

To grant authority or power to.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Approve

To consider right or good
"He came to ask me ... whether I approved his choice altogether" (Jane Austen).
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Authorize

To give permission for (something); sanction
The city agency that authorizes construction projects.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

FAQs

Is 'approve' a formal word?

Yes, it is often used in formal contexts, especially in administrative, business, or official settings.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 22, 2023

Can 'approve' be used in personal contexts?

Yes, it can be used informally to mean that someone thinks positively of something or someone.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

How is 'approve' commonly used?

It's frequently used in phrases like "approve a plan," "approve a budget," or "approve of a decision."
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

What's the noun form of 'approve'?

The noun form is "approval."
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

What does 'approve' mean?

To approve means to officially agree with or accept something as satisfactory.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Can 'approve' and 'agree' be used interchangeably?

Not always. 'Approve' implies official sanction, while 'agree' is more general.
Janet White
Dec 22, 2023

Is there a difference between 'approve' and 'endorse'?

Yes. 'Endorse' often implies public or formal support, while 'approve' is more about personal or official acceptance.
Harlon Moss
Dec 22, 2023

Does 'approve' require an object?

Often, but not always. For example, "The committee approved the proposal."
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Is 'authorize' a formal word?

Yes, it's typically used in formal, legal, or official contexts.
Janet White
Dec 22, 2023

Can 'approve' be passive?

Yes, e.g., "The plan was approved by the board."
Janet White
Dec 22, 2023

What does 'authorize' mean?

Authorize means to give official permission for something or to empower someone to act.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

What's the noun form of 'authorize'?

The noun form is "authorization."
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

What is the opposite of 'authorize'?

Forbid, disallow, or revoke authorization.
Janet White
Dec 22, 2023

Can 'authorize' be used in a personal context?

Yes, but it usually retains a sense of formality or officiality.
Harlon Moss
Dec 22, 2023

Is 'authorize' always about people?

Not always. It can refer to authorizing actions, processes, or transactions.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 22, 2023

What is the opposite of 'approve'?

Disapprove or reject.
Harlon Moss
Dec 22, 2023

Can 'authorize' and 'permit' be used interchangeably?

They are similar, but 'authorize' often implies a more formal or official permission.
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

Does 'authorize' always involve legal or formal power?

Mostly, but it can also be used in less formal contexts to mean empowering someone in a general sense.
Harlon Moss
Dec 22, 2023

Can 'authorize' be passive?

Yes, e.g., "The transaction was authorized by the manager."
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023

How is 'authorize' commonly used?

It's often used in contexts like "authorize a payment," "authorize access," or "authorize someone to act."
Sara Rehman
Dec 22, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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