Definition of prove
provenplay \ˈprü-vən, British also ˈprō-\;
1 archaic : to learn or find out by experience
2a : to test the truth, validity, or genuineness of the exception proves the rule prove a will at probateb : to test the worth or quality of; specifically : to compare against a standard —sometimes used with up or outc : to check the correctness of (something, such as an arithmetic result)
3a : to establish the existence, truth, or validity of (as by evidence or logic) prove a theorem the charges were never proved in courtb : to demonstrate as having a particular quality or worth the vaccine has been proven effective after years of tests proved herself a great actress
4 : to show (oneself) to be worthy or capable eager to prove myself in the new job
: to turn out especially after trial or test the new drug proved effective
provableplay \ˈprü-və-bəl\ adjective
provablyplay \-blē\ adverb
proverplay \ˈprü-vər\ noun
proved or proven?
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.
Recent Examples of prove from the Web
This act of police and government proves that peaceful demonstration would not be useful anymore.
Yet the U.S. garment industry’s production gains also show why President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to return manufacturing jobs to the U.S. could prove difficult.
In the past, intercepting an ICBM has proven incredibly difficult—akin to hitting one bullet with another at an exceptional distance, officials say.
Fleury, the franchise’s career leader in wins, ceded his net to Matt Murray last year in the playoffs, but hanging on to Fleury proved wise.
Advocates are concerned that companies like Blackstone want an equity stake in infrastructure that will prove more costly than muni bond funding.
As the biggest maker of graphics chips, Nvidia has proved that type of processor’s ability to perform multiple tasks in parallel has value in new markets, where artificial intelligence is increasingly important.
But Sam Millsap, a previous district attorney in Bexar County, told KSAT-TV in 2013 that medical records at the San Antonio hospital at one point were accidently destroyed, hampering efforts by investigators to prove their suspicions.
Her senior season has proven trying for the dogged infielder.
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.
PROVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prove for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of prove for Students
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.
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
provable\ˈprü-və-bəl\ play adjective
provably\ˈprü-və-blē\ play adverb
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up prove? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).