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

The five players will miss the team’s home match against LAFC, a major opportunity for the Lions to prove themselves against the league’s top club. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Five international call-ups reflect growth for Orlando City players," 30 Aug. 2019 Despite stellar name recognition and a devoted cult following, the Waco homes transformed by Fixer Upper power couple Chip and Joanna Gaines have proven notoriously difficult to sell. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "WATCH: These 3 Fixer Upper Houses Can’t Seem to Sell," 29 Aug. 2019 Female, 57, cited and released on suspicion of driving without a valid driver’s license, failing to prove financial responsibility to a peace officer, and having an expired registration, 300 block Third Street. Ramona Sentinel, "Sheriff’s Reports: Aug. 19-25," 27 Aug. 2019 But with new additions Neil Finn and Mike Campbell, Fleetwood Mac truly was like a band reborn at Fiserv Forum, delivering an electric and adventurous show that suggested Fleetwood Mac still had something to prove. 13. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Milwaukee Bucks' Fiserv Forum had a blockbuster first year. Here are the 14 top events from Year 1.," 21 Aug. 2019 Pitching StyleSeat to investors in 2011 proved difficult. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Sarah Kunst's New Venture Capital Fund Invests in Female Entrepreneurship," 19 Aug. 2019 While not all of the couples are still together, these matching looks prove that a good fit lasts forever. Teen Vogue, "The 12 Best Matching Celebrity Couple Outfits," 19 Aug. 2019 Then the defendant has to prove that the policy is necessary for legitimate, nondiscriminatory results. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "HUD proposes rule that would make housing discrimination lawsuits ‘impossible’," 19 Aug. 2019 Ryzen 3000 CPUs kick ass, as proven in our comprehensive Ryzen 7 3900X review. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Pre-binned Ryzen 3000 CPU listings reveal the limits of AMD overclocking potential," 15 Aug. 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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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

Comments on prove

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