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Approbation vs. Approbrium — What's the Difference?

By Urooj Arif & Fiza Rafique — Updated on April 20, 2024
Approbation refers to approval or praise, typically viewed positively, whereas approbrium denotes harsh criticism or condemnation, often viewed negatively.
Approbation vs. Approbrium — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Approbation and Approbrium


Key Differences

Approbation is a term used to express formal approval or commendation, signaling a positive response to actions or ideas, while approbrium represents strong disapproval or public shame, usually resulting from disgraceful behavior.
In societal contexts, approbation might be reflected through awards or public recognition, enhancing an individual’s reputation, whereas approbrium could result in social ostracism or negative stigma, damaging one's public image.
Approbation often encourages behaviors or policies that are in alignment with societal norms or values, promoting further positive actions, on the other hand, approbrium acts as a deterrent, discouraging unacceptable or unethical acts.
The sources of approbation are typically authorities or peers who endorse certain behaviors, whereas approbrium can come from the general public, media, or authoritative bodies reacting to misconduct.
While approbation is something people seek to gain respect or validation, approbrium is what individuals and organizations strive to avoid to maintain their dignity and integrity.

Comparison Chart


Approval or praise
Harsh criticism or condemnation



Effect on Image

Enhances reputation
Damages reputation

Typical Sources

Authorities, peers
Public, media, authoritative bodies

Social Impact

Encourages acceptable behavior
Discourages unacceptable behavior

Compare with Definitions


Commendation or praise.
She earned approbation for her community service efforts.


Public disgrace arising from shameful conduct.
The scandal brought approbrium on the whole department.


Expression of warm approval.
His mentor's approbation was important to him.


The state of being despised or dishonored.
His dishonest actions led him into deep approbrium.


Official approval or sanction.
His novel received the literary committee’s approbation.


Harsh criticism or censure.
He faced approbrium for his unethical practices.


Acceptance of a belief or action as appropriate.
His approach to sustainable farming met with general approbation.


Disapproval or condemnation expressed by society.
Acts of corruption inevitably attract public approbrium.


Favorable opinion about something.
The new policy won widespread approbation.


A cause of contempt or disgrace.
The politician's lies were an approbrium to his party.


An expression of warm approval; praise.


Alternative spelling of opprobrium


Official approval.


The act of approving; an assenting to the propriety of a thing with some degree of pleasure or satisfaction; approval, sanction, commendation or official recognition.


Proof; attestation.


Probation or novitiate.
This day my sister should the cloister enter,And there receive her approbation.


Official approval


Official recognition or approval

Common Curiosities

How can organizations encourage approbation?

Organizations can encourage approbation by adhering to ethical standards and positively engaging with their communities.

How do approbation and approbrium affect societal behavior?

Approbation encourages good behavior through rewards and recognition, whereas approbrium discourages bad behavior through public disapproval.

What might lead to approbrium for a company?

Unethical business practices or failure to meet societal standards can lead to approbrium.

Can public figures face both approbation and approbrium?

Yes, public figures can be subjects of both approbation for commendable actions and approbrium for misconduct.

What is the difference between approbation and approbrium?

Approbation is approval or praise, while approbrium is criticism or condemnation.

What role does media play in approbation and approbrium?

Media can amplify both approbation and approbrium, affecting public perception and individual or organizational reputations significantly.

Are there cultural differences in how approbation and approbrium are perceived?

Yes, cultural norms significantly influence the perception and consequences of approbation and approbrium.

Is approbation always beneficial?

While generally beneficial, approbation can sometimes lead to undue pressure to maintain high standards or unrealistic expectations.

What psychological effects can approbrium have on individuals?

Approbrium can lead to stress, shame, and social isolation for individuals.

Can approbrium be overturned?

Yes, with corrective actions and public apologies, approbrium can sometimes be mitigated or overturned.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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