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[proh-buh-tiv, prob-uh-] /ˈproʊ bə tɪv, ˈprɒb ə-/
serving or designed for testing or trial.
affording proof or evidence.
Also, probatory
[proh-buh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈproʊ bəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA)
Origin of probative
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Middle French probatif < Latin probātīvus of proof. See probate, -ive
Related forms
probatively, adverb
nonprobative, adjective
nonprobatory, adjective
unprobative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for probative
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Let a sufficient amount of probative evidence be addressed to the eye, the act of believing must follow.

    The Gospel of St. John Frederick Denison Maurice
  • Certainly, there seems to be some illusion in the common belief in the probative force of prediction.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • The second clause, relating to instances in which the phenomenon is absent, depends for its probative force upon Prop.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • But Quintilian has less faith in the probative value of fictitious examples than he has in those drawn from authentic history.

  • Ap′probatory, Ap′probative, of or belonging to one who approves.

British Dictionary definitions for probative


serving to test or designed for testing
providing proof or evidence
Derived Forms
probatively, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin probātīvus concerning proof
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 probative

mid-15c., from Latin probativus "belonging to proof," from probat-, past participle stem of probare (see prove).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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