prove

verb
\ ˈprüv How to pronounce prove (audio) \
proved; proved or proven\ ˈprü-​vən How to pronounce proven (audio) , British also  ˈprō-​ \; proving\ ˈprü-​viŋ How to pronounce proving (audio) \

Definition of prove

transitive verb

1a : to establish the existence, truth, or validity of (as by evidence or logic) prove a theorem the charges were never proved in court
b : to demonstrate as having a particular quality or worth the vaccine has been proven effective after years of tests proved herself a great actress
2 : to show (oneself) to be worthy or capable eager to prove myself in the new job
3a : to test the truth, validity, or genuineness of the exception proves the rule prove a will at probate
b : to test the worth or quality of specifically : to compare against a standard sometimes used with up or out
c : to check the correctness of (something, such as an arithmetic result)
4 archaic : to learn or find out by experience

intransitive verb

: to turn out especially after trial or test the new drug proved effective

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Other Words from prove

provable \ ˈprü-​və-​bəl How to pronounce provable (audio) \ adjective
provableness noun
provably \ ˈprü-​və-​blē How to pronounce provably (audio) \ adverb
prover \ ˈprü-​vər How to pronounce prover (audio) \ noun

proved or proven?: Usage Guide

The past participle proven, originally the past participle of preve, a Middle English variant of prove that survived in Scotland, has gradually worked its way into standard English over the past three and a half centuries. It seems to have first become established in legal use and to have come only slowly into literary use. Tennyson was one of its earliest frequent users, probably for metrical reasons. It was disapproved by 19th century grammarians, one of whom included it in a list of "words that are not words." Surveys made some 50 or 60 years ago indicated that proved was about four times as frequent as proven. But our evidence from the last 30 or 35 years shows this no longer to be the case. As a past participle proven is now about as frequent as proved in all contexts. As an attributive adjective proved or proven gas reserves proven is much more common than proved.

Examples of prove in a Sentence

The charges against him were never proved in court. The government failed to prove its case. It could not be proven that the suspect stole the money. A person who is charged with a crime is considered innocent until proved guilty. mathematicians trying to prove a theorem To prove her point, she got out the old research. The tests proved the vaccine to be effective. Her second album was a hit that proved her critics wrong.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In both the series and the book the characters occupy a moral middle ground, proving that being entirely good or entirely evil isn’t really that productive. Emily Zemler, latimes.com, "Nothing but ‘Good Omens’ as Neil Gaiman’s series finally hits TV," 5 June 2019 The bill allows victims of these calls to sue a 911 caller for as much as $250 if the victim can prove that the 911 call was racially motivated and that the caller intended to discriminate or harm the reputation of the victim. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Oregon Senate passes bill punishing racist 911 callers," 5 June 2019 If perjury can be proved, Peterson could be punished by up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Lisa J. Huriash, sun-sentinel.com, "Legal experts agree that Scot Peterson failed. Whether he can be convicted for it isn’t so clear.," 5 June 2019 After the tackling comes the mental gymnastics, with Luke S. hoping to prove the pen is mightier than the sword after new rival Luke P. once again slams him behind his back to Hannah during the cocktail party. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al.com, "Tensions rise on ‘The Bachelorette,’ as men get testy and manipulative for Hannah’s heart," 4 June 2019 The first 10 years of my career have been about proving myself. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Zoë Kravitz Reveals She Battled An Eating Disorder At 13," 4 June 2019 The 2019 Cannes controversy proves that while Harvey Weinstein may have been arrested, the #MeToo movement is far from over. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "Why Everyone Is Talking About Sand Van Roy's Stunning Feminist Tattoo at Cannes," 21 May 2019 Five years later, Albert Einstein was able to prove that energy and mass are in fact equivalent. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Why the World's Measuring Systems Just Changed—and What It Means," 20 May 2019 This could also transform him into Azor Ahai or The Prince Who Was Promised, proving that Daenerys, not the Night King, was the true threat to the world that only a legendary hero could take down. Carrie Wittmer, Harper's BAZAAR, "Daenerys Is Definitely Dying in the Game of Thrones Series Finale. Here's How It Could Happen.," 19 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prove.' 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 prove

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 4

History and Etymology for prove

Middle English, from Anglo-French prover, pruver, from Latin probare to test, prove, from probus good, honest, from pro- for, in favor + -bus (akin to Old English bēon to be) — more at pro-, be

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Statistics for prove

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for prove

The first known use of prove was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for prove

prove

verb

English Language Learners Definition of prove

: to show the existence, truth, or correctness of (something) by using evidence, logic, etc.
: to show that (someone or something) has a particular quality, ability, etc.
: to turn out to be

prove

verb
\ ˈprüv How to pronounce prove (audio) \
proved; proved or proven\ ˈprü-​vən \; proving

Kids Definition of prove

1 : to show the truth or existence of something with facts I can prove he's guilty.
2 : to turn out to be The climb proved more difficult than they had expected.
3 : to check the correctness of prove the math theory
4 : to test by experiment or by a standard Tests proved that the vaccine is effective.
\ ˈprüv How to pronounce prove (audio) \
proved; proved or proven\ ˈprü-​vən How to pronounce proven (audio) \; proving

Legal Definition of prove

1 : to test the truth, validity, or genuineness of prove a will at probate
2a : to establish the existence, truth, or validity of the charges were never proved in court
b : to provide sufficient proof of or that proved the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt

Other Words from prove

provable \ ˈprü-​və-​bəl How to pronounce provable (audio) \ adjective
provableness noun
provably \ ˈprü-​və-​blē How to pronounce provably (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on prove

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prove

Spanish Central: Translation of prove

Nglish: Translation of prove for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prove for Arabic Speakers

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