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[proh-beyt] /ˈproʊ beɪt/
Law. the official proving of a will as authentic or valid in a probate court.
an officially certified copy of a will so proved.
of or relating to probate or a probate court.
verb (used with object), probated, probating.
to establish the authenticity or validity of (a will).
Law. to put (an offender) on probation.
Origin of probate
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English probat < Latin probātum a thing approved, noun use of neuter past participle of probāre to test and find good; see probe, -ate1
Related forms
unprobated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for probate
  • What the executrix in that situation has to face otherwise is between her and the probate court.
  • By making the gift, you may reduce future estate taxes and probate costs.
  • That's where you put your money that is in excess of the exemption from estate and probate taxes and fees.
  • The use of a revocable living trust is often touted as a way to avoid the time and expense of probate.
  • My dad's estate is worth little and it did not need to go to probate.
  • The case then was returned to probate court, where he again won.
  • Curtis, the chewing gum manufacturer, was filed for probate today.
  • Tammany contractor and builder, be admitted to probate.
  • The late starlet's will is currently being reviewed in probate court.
  • Although probate inventories provide suggestive data, they probably understate actual levels of gun ownership.
British Dictionary definitions for probate


/ˈprəʊbɪt; -beɪt/
the act or process of officially proving the authenticity and validity of a will
  1. the official certificate stating a will to be genuine and conferring on the executors power to administer the estate
  2. the probate copy of a will
(in the US) all matters within the jurisdiction of a probate court
(modifier) of, relating to, or concerned with probate: probate value, a probate court
(transitive) (mainly US & Canadian) to establish officially the authenticity and validity of (a will)
Word Origin
C15: from Latin probāre to inspect
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for probate

"official proving of a will," c.1400, from Latin probatum "a thing proved," neuter of probatus "tried, tested, proved," past participle of probare "to try, test, prove" (see prove).


1560s, "to prove," from probate (n.) or from Latin probatus, past participle of probare. Specific sense of "prove the genuineness of a will" is from 1792. Related: Probated; probating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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