Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial.
Related to on approval: Approval voting
for examination, with the privilege of return. I ordered the merchandise on approval so I could send it back if I didn't like it. Sorry, you can't buy this on approval. All sales are final.
To be returned if not satisfactory, as in They're offering custom-made shoes, manufactured from a computer design, on approval. This expression, applied nearly always to the purchase of goods, was first recorded in 1870.
on apˈproval(of goods) not paid for and to be returned, usually within a few days, if the customer decides not to buy them: I’ve got it on seven days approval, so if you don’t like it I can take it back.
For examination or trial by a customer without the obligation to buy: took the dress on approval.