I am stuck here, I don't know which one to choose. I am a programmer and I have to name a button which deletes some data. Before deleting it, I am asking user "Do you confirm/approve deleting the data?". And the button name should follow the word used in the sentence.

Which one should I use in this case? Their meaning is very similar and I can't distinguish the difference between the two.

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    "confirm" basically is a double-check that your previous decision is what you wanted to do, in case of some mistake. "approve" is a one time affirmative decision – user3169 Nov 8 '18 at 6:30

Usually a deletion process may have different stages in this order:

  • User A request deletion of a row clicking in the button DELETE
  • A popup window appears requesting user A to CONFIRM the deletion request
  • Once the user A has confirmed in the popup window, a superuser B may receive a notification of APPROVAL. Superuser B has to approve the requested deletion before it's executed over the database.
  • Once superuser B has approved clicking in the button APPROVE, the original deletion request is executed and the row is efectively removed from the database.

Notice that the above description is only an approach. Yours doesn't have to match it exactly.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, confirm and approve are synonyms in this context:

confirm verb [ T ] (APPROVE)

to approve someone or something officially by formal agreement

As an IT professional, I suggest the word "CONFIRM" for your button. It's the most used in this case escenario.

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In your case, as the user has already voluntarily clicked on the delete button, you have to use confirm. If the delete action is not triggered by user i.e implicit by other actions, then you can use approve.

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