v. ap·pre·ci·at·ed, ap·pre·ci·at·ing, ap·pre·ci·ates
1. To recognize the quality, significance, or magnitude of: appreciated their freedom.
2. To be fully aware of or sensitive to; realize: I appreciate your problems.
3. To be thankful or show gratitude for: I really appreciate your help.
4. To admire greatly; value.
5. To raise in value or price, especially over time.
To increase in value or price, especially over time.
[Late Latin appretiāre, appretiāt-, to appraise; see APPRAISE.]
ap·precia·to′ry (-shə-tôr′ē) adj.
Synonyms: appreciate, value, prize1, esteem, treasure, cherish
These verbs mean to have a highly favorable opinion of someone or something. Appreciate applies especially to high regard based on critical assessment, comparison, and judgment: As immigrants, they appreciated their newfound freedom.
Value implies high regard for the importance or worth of the object: "In principle, the modern university values ... the free exchange of ideas" (Eloise Salholz).
Prize often suggests pride of possession: "the nonchalance prized by teen-agers" (Elaine Louie).
Esteem implies respect: "If he had never esteemed my opinion before, he would have thought highly of me then" (Jane Austen).
Treasure and cherish stress solicitous care and affectionate regard: We treasure our freedom. "They seek out the Salish Indian woman ... to learn the traditions she cherishes" (Tamara Jones).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.