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
But King more than persevered, proving the connections between his heart, mind, hands and vocal cords are powerful and undiminished.
To prove his point, the guy complimented the First Lady so many times that Fox ran out of photos to run in the background.
The bug bounty programs have proved so successful that even the U.S. military is using them.
Raising taxes again would likely prove politically difficult.
Rookie Drew Robinson may get a chance to prove himself on a more consistent basis in the season’s second half.
While not entirely proven, conventional wisdom holds that the arm troubles Wood experienced in his big-league career from 1998 to 2012 were sown long before, on days like that 1995 doubleheader as a high school senior.
In the film, keeping his Spider-Man identity from his friends proves to be too much of a challenge for Peter when his friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) catches him sneaking back into his room after an evening fighting crime.
Made with purple corn and molle berries (also known as pink peppercorns), it was released last March as a one-off but proved so popular that Off Color is going to brew and release it for a second time later this summer.
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.
Origin and Etymology of prove
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
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