probation

noun
pro·​ba·​tion | \ prō-ˈbā-shən How to pronounce probation (audio) \

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 How to pronounce probational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
probationally adverb
probationary \ prō-​ˈbā-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce probationary (audio) \ 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

Mill, who was born Robert Rihmeek Williams, spent almost five months incarcerated following a controversial sentence for violating probation. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Meek Mill says prison release doesn't mean he feels free," 26 Apr. 2018 Smith had a long record, had recently violated probation, but was released. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Condemned killer seen abducting young victim on camera to be resentenced," 6 Apr. 2018 The suspect’s legal history includes a 2002 arrest in Miami for a bomb threat that resulted in one year of probation, according to court records. Katie Honan, WSJ, "Suspect in Letter Bombs: A History of Arrests and a Prior Bomb Threat," 26 Oct. 2018 After the outcry, two of the children involved in the video were taken from the DaddyOFive household and placed with their birth mother; the parents eventually pleaded guilty to charges of child neglect and were sentenced to five years of probation. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "The co-founder of a prominent tween girl YouTube network has been arrested for molesting a minor," 24 Sep. 2018 Zachary Cruz was eventually released on probation with conditions such as keeping away from the high school. Curt Anderson, The Seattle Times, "Prosecutors want trial date in Florida school shooting," 8 Jan. 2019 Photo: Noah Berger/Associated Press U.S. District Judge William Alsup is considering whether PG&E may have violated the terms of its probation due to the fires. Rebecca Smith, WSJ, "PG&E Sparked at Least 1,500 California Fires. Now the Utility Faces Collapse.," 13 Jan. 2019 He was ordered by a judgeto submit one drug test and complete 10 hours of community service, far less than what YAT required during his informal probation. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "How one California county is criminalizing bad grades," 17 July 2018 But the Obama Justice Department threw the book at D’Souza, anyway: Had Trump not offered his mercy on Thursday, D’Souza would still be on probation. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Pardons Dinesh D’Souza, in Triumph for Social Justice," 31 May 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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Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

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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.
US : 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 How to pronounce probation (audio) \

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 How to pronounce probation (audio) \

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 How to pronounce probational (audio) \ adjective
probationally adverb
probationary \ -​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce probationary (audio) \ 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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