probative

adjective
pro·​ba·​tive | \ˈprō-bə-tiv \

Definition of probative 

1 : serving to test or try : exploratory

2 : serving to prove : substantiating

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of probative in a Sentence

no dearth of probative evidence for the theory of evolution

Recent Examples on the Web

In short, despite the Government’s efforts to paint a contrary picture, this is not a case containing direct, probative evidence of anticompetitive intent on the part of high level executives within the merging company. Joe Palazzolo, WSJ, "Decoding Judge Leon's AT&T-Time Warner Decision," 12 June 2018 The goal here is probative, to ask a question and get an answer, and the question is quite simple: Who gives the Colts a better chance at winning fast than Nick Saban? Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Belichick isn't coming, so Colts should try to hire the next best guy — Nick Saban," 9 Jan. 2018 But still: By any normal evidentiary, probative or journalistic measure, the big story here is the FBI—its politicized handling of Russian matters, and not competently so. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "The FBI’s Political Meddling," 24 Oct. 2017 The White House is correct to say as much, as are the courts that are now weighing the probative value and legal force of presidential tweets. Phillip Carter, Slate Magazine, "Military leaders who say the president’s social media posts aren’t policy are playing a dangerous game.," 28 July 2017 Their probative value, the judge said, outweighed the prejudicial effect such testimony can have on jurors. Clifford Ward, Wheaton Glen Ellyn, "Prosecutors can call past accusers at trial of man charged in teen's '85 killing," 8 June 2017 Sheridan said there's often footage that has no probative value, meaning the footage does not have the ability to make a point more or less true in a courtroom. Jon Bleiweis, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County police chief defends shielding body camera video," 10 May 2017 As probative value diminishes, the potential increases that it will be substantially outweighed by the dangers identified in Rule 403. Megan Cassidy, azcentral, "12 years after Yuma's La Mesa Street killings, a jury will decide if there is enough evidence to convict the man accused," 23 Apr. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of probative

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about probative

Statistics for probative

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for probative

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for probative

probative

adjective
pro·​ba·​tive | \ˈprō-bə-tiv \

Legal Definition of probative 

1 : serving or tending to prove evidence of the use of an alias by a defendant is often probative of nothingCase & Comment — compare prejudicial

2 : of or relating to proof evidence with probative value

More from Merriam-Webster on probative

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for probative

Comments on probative

What made you want to look up probative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a knickknack or trinket

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!