I'm developing a web application. Some of the entities on that application require to be "approved" before they are considered "valid" by the system. I need to name the state in which they are "awaiting approval".

Is there a shorter construction to convey the same meaning as "awaiting approval"?

  • 1
    Is this a message intended for a user to read, or a type name, or something else? If not the former, Unapproved might do it for you. May 4, 2011 at 15:34
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    I disagree: there is a pragmatic difference between "pending approval" and "unapproved": the former means that it may yet be approved while the latter usually suggests that it has been judged and has not been approved.
    – msanford
    May 4, 2011 at 15:39
  • 2
    @msanford: I said might, being well aware of the differences which I cared not to pollute the comment thread with by elaborating all possible angles, but was still willing to offer an option; the idea was that if the 'states' are in code, then 'judged and declined' would have its own state. Thanks for your consideration. May 4, 2011 at 15:42
  • This is true and I do agree that it may well be appropriate. I was merely offering another angle.
    – msanford
    May 4, 2011 at 15:46
  • I'd use "rejected" rather than "unapproved" for something which has been judged and not approved. This argument, however, makes "unapproved" ambiguous at best. I'd maybe use it for a state in the code (where a comment can describe what it means to someone who needs to use it), but probably not on the UI, to avoid confusion. Jul 29, 2014 at 10:30

5 Answers 5


You could try "pending", as in "pending approval".


  1. Not yet decided or settled; awaiting conclusion or confirmation.
    TFD Online
  • +1 - Of all the synonyms I've seen on my NOAD, this sounds like the most appropriate.
    – Alenanno
    May 4, 2011 at 15:38

You don't await for something, you just await it (see green line below).

I don't see anything wrong with awaiting approval in a general sense, though, as suggested above (and in NGrams), pending does seem the most appropriate.

"Google NGrams plot of "Pending approval" marginally leading "awaiting approval" with no results for "awaiting for approval" (see comment).


I would probably use the word "pending".

But you may find these other synonyms more appropriate.


"Pending" is a fantastic choice, but my first thought was "submitted" as in "submitted for approval".


If there is a good chance that any given entity will be considered invalid by the system, I would say that the entity was pending classification, rather than pending approval.

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