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[proov] /pruv/
verb (used with object), proved, proved or proven, proving.
to establish the truth or genuineness of, as by evidence or argument:
to prove one's claim.
Law. to establish the authenticity or validity of (a will); probate.
to give demonstration of by action.
to subject to a test, experiment, comparison, analysis, or the like, to determine quality, amount, acceptability, characteristics, etc.:
to prove ore.
to show (oneself) to have the character or ability expected of one, especially through one's actions.
Mathematics. to verify the correctness or validity of by mathematical demonstration or arithmetical proof.
Also, proof. Printing. to take a trial impression of (type, a cut, etc.).
to cause (dough) to rise to the necessary lightness.
Archaic. to experience.
verb (used without object), proved, proved or proven, proving.
to turn out:
The experiment proved to be successful.
to be found by trial or experience to be:
His story proved false.
(of dough) to rise to a specified lightness:
Leave covered until it has proved.
Origin of prove
1125-75; Middle English proven < Old French prover < Latin probāre to try, test, prove, approve, derivative of probus good. See probity
Related forms
provable, adjective
provability, provableness, noun
provably, adverb
provenly, adverb
prover, noun
half-proved, adjective
half-proven, adjective
nonprovable, adjective
overprove, verb (used with object), overproved, overproved or overproven, overproving.
preprove, verb (used with object), preproved, preproved or preproven, preproving.
self-proving, adjective
semiproven, adjective
unprovable, adjective
unproved, adjective
unproven, adjective
unproving, adjective
well-proved, adjective
well-proven, adjective
1. demonstrate, confirm, substantiate, verify.
1. disprove.
Usage note
Either proved or proven is standard as the past participle of prove: Events have proved (or proven) him wrong. As a modifier, proven is by far the more common: a proven fact. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for prove
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I had to pay it to prove how much I love you; but let us forget it now.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • Everything combines to prove the accuracy of my observations.

    The Lamplighter Charles Dickens
  • It is never too late to prove God's existence if the world is created.

  • To my mind the long-bow is a better weapon than the arbalest, but it may be ill for me to prove it.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The sequel will prove that, in choosing their chiefs, the colonists had made no mistake about him.

    The Border Rifles Gustave Aimard
British Dictionary definitions for prove


verb (mainly transitive) proves, proving, proved, proved, proven
(may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to establish or demonstrate the truth or validity of; verify, esp by using an established sequence of procedures or statements
to establish the quality of, esp by experiment or scientific analysis
(law) to establish the validity and genuineness of (a will)
to show (oneself) able or courageous
(copula) to be found or shown (to be): this has proved useless, he proved to be invaluable
(printing) to take a trial impression of (type, etc)
(intransitive) (of dough) to rise in a warm place before baking
(archaic) to undergo
Derived Forms
provable, adjective
provability, noun
provably, adverb
Word Origin
C12: from Old French prover, from Latin probāre to test, from probus honest
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 prove

late 12c., pruven, proven "to try, test; evaluate; demonstrate," from Old French prover, pruver "show; convince; put to the test" (11c., Modern French prouver), from Latin probare "to make good; esteem, represent as good; make credible, show, demonstrate; test, inspect; judge by trial" (source also of Spanish probar, Italian probare), from probus "worthy, good, upright, virtuous," from PIE *pro-bhwo- "being in front," from *pro-, extended form of root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per), + root *bhu- "to be" (cf. Latin fui "I have been," futurus "about to be;" Old English beon "to be;" see be). Related: Proved; proven; proving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with prove


In addition to the idiom beginning with prove also see: exception proves the rule
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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