probation

noun
pro·​ba·​tion | \prō-ˈbā-shən \

Definition of probation 

1 : critical examination and evaluation or subjection to such examination and evaluation

2a : subjection of an individual to a period of testing and trial to ascertain fitness (as for a job or school)

b : the action of suspending the sentence of a convicted offender and giving the offender freedom during good behavior under the supervision of a probation officer

c : the state or a period of being subject to probation

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Other Words from probation

probational \prō-​ˈbā-​shnəl, -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
probationally adverb
probationary \prō-​ˈbā-​shə-​ˌner-​ē \ adjective

Examples of probation in a Sentence

As a new employee, I will be on probation for three months. He hoped that the judge would grant him probation. He was sentenced to one year's probation. He was sent back to prison for violating his probation. She was arrested while on probation. Instead of firing her, they put her on probation. The student was placed on probation for copying test answers.
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Recent Examples on the Web

On the morning of his sentencing in 2008, none of Epstein’s victims were in the courtroom to protest his soft jail term or the unusual provisions of his incarceration and probation — and that was by design. Julie K. Brown, The Seattle Times, "Perversion of Justice: Even from jail, sex abuser manipulated the system. His victims were kept in the dark," 4 Dec. 2018 After a plea bargain, Mr. Timbs was sentenced to a year of home detention followed by five years probation, and assessed $1,200 in fees. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Poised to Rule Against Excessive State Fines," 28 Nov. 2018 His probation length has ballooned from single to double digits in total. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Meek Mill Announces Album Release Date, Talks Partnering With Jay-Z, and Wants to Free 1 Million People From Our Criminal Justice System," 14 Nov. 2018 Hock received three years’ probation and died in 1994 at the age of 47. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "5 fascinating stories about Lee Israel, the real person behind Can You Ever Forgive Me?," 19 Oct. 2018 People who are caught smoking will still be handcuffed and taken to a police station for fingerprinting to see if they’ve been arrested in connection with a violent crime in the last three years, on probation, parole, or have an open arrest warrant. Montana Couser, The Root, "NYC Mayor Changes Marijuana Policy To Reduce Arrests," 20 June 2018 But for New Yorkers on probation or parole or who have open arrest warrants, getting stopped for smoking marijuana will continue to mean being handcuffed and taken in for fingerprinting. Benjamin Mueller, BostonGlobe.com, "New York City will end marijuana arrests for most people," 20 June 2018 Lambesis completed his parole and probation requirements in 2017. George Varga, sandiegouniontribune.com, "As I Lay Dying singer reunites with his Christian metal band after two-year prison term for hiring hit man to murder his wife," 11 June 2018 More than four-fifths have arrest records; in fact, nearly 40 percent are still on parole or probation. Annie Sweeney, chicagotribune.com, "In hopes of stopping bloodshed, a multimillion-dollar effort is providing jobs, therapy to city's most violent," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'probation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of probation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for probation

Middle English probacioun, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French probation, from Latin probation-, probatio, from probare

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Statistics for probation

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for probation

The first known use of probation was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for probation

probation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of probation

: a situation or period of time in which a person who is starting a new job is tested and watched to see if that person is able to do the job properly

law : a situation or period of time in which a person who has committed a crime is allowed to stay out of prison if that person behaves well, does not commit another crime, etc.

: a situation or period of time in which a person who has made a serious mistake or done something bad is watched and must behave well in order not to be seriously punished

probation

noun
pro·​ba·​tion | \prō-ˈbā-shən \

Kids Definition of probation

1 : the condition of being closely watched and evaluated for a period of time or the period of time during which this happens

2 : the early release of a prisoner on certain conditions

probation

noun
pro·​ba·​tion | \prō-ˈbā-shən \

Legal Definition of probation 

1a : subjection to a period of evaluation and possible termination at the commencement of employment in a position for which one's fitness is to be determined

b : subjection to a period of review in the course of employment or education as a result of a violation of standards and with the possibility of dismissal if standards are not met

2a : the suspension of all or part of a sentence and its replacement by freedom subject to specific conditions and the supervision of a probation officer it is the intent of the legislature that the granting of probation shall be a matter of grace conferring no vested right to its continuanceMichigan Statutes Annotated

called also community supervision

— compare diversion, parole

b : probation as a sentence in itself

c : the period or state of being subject to probation arrested while on probation

Other Words from probation

probational \-​shə-​nəl \ adjective
probationally adverb
probationary \-​shə-​ˌner-​ē \ adjective

History and Etymology for probation

Middle French, critical examination and evaluation, from Latin probation- probatio, from probare to test, approve, prove

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Comments on probation

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