Ask Difference

Approval vs. Permission — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Maham Liaqat — Updated on March 28, 2024
Approval refers to the acceptance or endorsement of something, often after consideration, whereas permission is the authorization or consent given to do something.
Approval vs. Permission — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Approval and Permission


Key Differences

Approval is a formal or official agreement, often based on assessment or evaluation, indicating that something meets certain standards or requirements. It implies a level of satisfaction or endorsement by an authority or group. Whereas, permission is the authorization granted by a person or entity, giving someone the right or consent to do something specific. It's more about granting the freedom to act rather than endorsing the action itself.
While approval often involves a process of review and judgment, indicating that something is considered correct, appropriate, or of a certain quality, permission is primarily concerned with the allowance or liberty to proceed with an action. It may not involve an assessment of the action's quality or propriety but simply grants the go-ahead to undertake it.
Approval usually comes after a thorough evaluation or consideration, suggesting that something has been found to meet established standards. It carries a sense of endorsement and support. On the other hand, permission can be given with minimal or no evaluation of the merits of the action, focusing instead on the right or authority to proceed.
In many contexts, approval is sought from individuals or entities that have expertise, authority, or jurisdiction over a particular matter, implying that their endorsement adds value or legitimacy. Permission, however, can be granted by anyone who has the authority or right to do so, regardless of their expertise on the subject matter.
Approval often carries a broader implication, potentially affecting a wider range of activities or decisions beyond the immediate request. Permission is usually more specific and limited in scope, applying to a particular action or series of actions within defined parameters.

Comparison Chart


The acceptance or endorsement of something, often after consideration.
The authorization or consent given to do something.


Evaluation or assessment.
Authorization or consent.


Endorsement or support for the quality or propriety of something.
Right or liberty to do something, without necessarily endorsing its quality.

Required by

Authorities, experts, or those with jurisdiction.
Anyone with the authority or right.


Broader, may affect multiple aspects or decisions.
Specific and limited to certain actions.

Compare with Definitions


Acceptance after consideration.
His proposal gained approval after thorough discussion.


Liberty given by authority.
The teacher gave the students permission to use calculators during the test.


Positive evaluation.
Her performance received high approval in her review.


Consent to proceed.
The children need their parents' permission to go on the field trip.


Official agreement.
The new policy awaits approval from the government.


Allowance to do something.
She received permission to access the restricted files.


Formal endorsement.
The project received formal approval from the board.


Authorization to act.
He got permission to leave early from work.


Satisfaction of standards.
The design met with the committee's approval.


Granting of rights.
Permission was granted to use the facility for the event.


The act or an instance of approving.


The action of officially allowing someone to do a particular thing; consent or authorization
They had entered the country without permission
He received permission to go to Brussels


An official approbation; a sanction.


The act of permitting, especially in giving formal consent; authorization
Do they have permission to leave?.


Favorable regard; commendation.


An authorization to do something, as to quote from a book under copyright.


An expression granting permission; an indication of agreement with a proposal; an acknowledgement that a person, thing, or event meets requirements.
I need to get an approval on this purchase order.


Authorisation; consent (especially formal consent from someone in authority)
Sire, do I have your permission to execute this traitor?


An expression of favorable acceptance and encouragement; a compliment that also condones.
Words of approval never seem to come from him.


The act of permitting.


Something mailed by a seller to a collector to match their stated interests; the collector can approve of or return the item.


(computing) Flags or access control lists pertaining to a file that dictate who can access it, and how.
I used the "chmod" command to change the file's permission.


Approbation; sanction.
A censor . . . without whose approval n capital sentences are to be executed.


(transitive) To grant or obtain authorization for.


The formal act of giving approval;
He gave the project his blessing
His decision merited the approval of any sensible person


The act of permitting or allowing; formal consent; authorization; leave; license or liberty granted.
High permission of all-ruling Heaven.
You have given me your permission for this address.


A feeling of liking something or someone good;
Although she fussed at them, she secretly viewed all her children with approval


Approval to do something;
He asked permission to leave


Acceptance as satisfactory;
He bought it on approval


The act of giving a formal (usually written) authorization


A message expressing a favorable opinion;
Words of approval seldom passed his lips

Common Curiosities

What is approval?

Approval is the formal or official agreement, indicating satisfaction or endorsement.

How does approval differ from permission?

Approval involves endorsement after evaluation, whereas permission is about granting the right to act.

Can approval and permission be required for the same action?

Yes, certain actions may require both the endorsement (approval) and the right (permission) to proceed.

Who can give permission?

Permission can be given by anyone who has the right or authority over the matter.

Is approval always necessary when permission is given?

Not always; permission can be given without the action being explicitly approved or endorsed.

Is permission specific or general?

Permission is usually specific to a particular action or series of actions.

What is permission?

Permission is the authorization or consent given by an authority to do something.

Can permission be withdrawn?

Yes, permission can be withdrawn by the authority that granted it.

Can approval be revoked?

Approval can be revoked if the conditions under which it was given change or if new information arises.

Does approval have a broader impact than permission?

Approval can have a broader impact, affecting related activities or decisions.

What happens if you act without permission?

Acting without permission can result in consequences, depending on the authority's rules or laws.

What are the consequences of not seeking approval?

Not seeking approval can lead to rejection of actions or projects, affecting legitimacy or support.

Can one operate on implied permission or approval?

Yes, in some contexts, implied permission or approval may be sufficient, but explicit consent is often recommended.

Who grants approval?

Approval is usually granted by someone in authority or with expertise in the matter.

Does approval imply a higher standard than permission?

Yes, approval often implies a process of evaluation and endorsement, suggesting a higher standard.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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