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King James Dictionary [1]

Approve', L approbo of ad and probo, to prove or approve. See Approbate, Prove and Proof.

1. To like to be pleased with to admit the propriety of as, we approve the measures of administration. This word may include, with the assent of the mind to the propriety, a commendation to others. 2. To prove to show to be true to justify.

Would'st thou approve thy constancy? Approve first thy wisdom.

This sense, though common a century or two ago, is now rare.

3. To experience to prove by trial. Not used. See Prove. 4. To make or show to be worthy of approbation to commend.

Jesus, a man approved of God.  Acts 2 .

This word seems to include the idea of Christ's real office as the Messiah, and of God's love and approbation of him in that character.

5. To like and sustain as right to commend.

Yet their posterity approve their sayings.  Psalms 49 .

This word, when it signifies to be pleased, is often followed by of, in which use, it is intransitive as, I approve of the measure. But the tendency of modern usage is to omit of. "I approve the measure."

6. To improve.

Webster's Dictionary [2]

(1): (v. t.) To regard as good; to commend; to be pleased with; to think well of; as, we approve the measured of the administration.

(2): (v. t.) To make or show to be worthy of approbation or acceptance.

(3): (v. t.) To make profit of; to convert to one's own profit; - said esp. of waste or common land appropriated by the lord of the manor.

(4): (v. t.) To show to be real or true; to prove.

(5): (v. t.) To sanction officially; to ratify; to confirm; as, to approve the decision of a court-martial.

(6): (v. t.) To make proof of; to demonstrate; to prove or show practically.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [3]

a - proov ´: This word, as ordinarily used, means "to entertain a favorable opinion concerning" ( Psalm 49:13;  Lamentations 3:36 ). Its Biblical and archaic use conveys a much stronger meaning and is equivalent to its use in legal formalities of today, "to approve a bill," i.e. by some act, generally a signature, to express approval. In New Testament, a number of times, for Greek dokimázō , "to test, try, make proof of," and its derivative, dókimos , "tested," "tried." The word will, in almost every ease, imply that the proof is victoriously demonstrated, the proved is also approved, just as in English we speak of "tried men" (Trench, Greek Synonyms of New Testament ). It is the word most frequently used for the testing of ores. That which does not stand the test is adókimos , "reprobate." Compare  Jeremiah 6:30 King James Version: "reprobate silver." That which stands the test is dokimos , "approved." "Salute Apelles the approved in Christ" ( Romans 16:10 ); "they that are approved" ( 1 Corinthians 11:19 ); "Present thyself approved unto God" ( 2 Timothy 2:15 ); when he hath been "approved" ( James 1:12 ). See also  Romans 14:18 ,  Romans 14:22;  1 Thessalonians 2:4 .