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

Throughout the trade war, President Trump has frequently claimed the conflict would force companies to pull their production out of China and move it to the U.S. More than a year into it, he’s been proven half-right. Taylor Telford, Washington Post, "More than 50 major companies, from Apple to Nintendo, pull production from China because of the trade war," 18 July 2019 Unless and until Williams is convicted of a crime or pleads guilty to one, it is not proven that Williams committed the acts detailed in the charges. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Breaking Down What to Expect After Riquna Williams's 10-Game Suspension by the WNBA," 18 July 2019 Proposition 7 set the penalties for murder conviction, while the new law changed only the legal elements that have to be proven for a murder conviction—and did not change the penalties approved by voters. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Becerra backs change in murder law that’s widely opposed by state prosecutors," 18 July 2019 Windshield wipers, disc brakes, dual clutch transmissions, and even direct injection engines were proven on track before filtering their way into the showroom. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Formula E racing tech will improve the charger for your electric car," 16 July 2019 The partial meltdown contaminated the lab, leaving behind dangerous, radioactive substances and remnants from testing the limits of nuclear power that are proven to be toxic. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Kim & Kourtney Kardashian Take On Cleaning Up The Site Of A Nuclear Accident," 15 July 2019 So it was proven true once again last year, when Australia’s Harry Price won his second title at the prestigious tournament in his swan song. Andrew Turner, latimes.com, "Youth match racing skippers sail for stardom in 53rd Governor’s Cup," 13 July 2019 Worries that the cows would get seasick or be reluctant to cross the bridge onto the platform proved unfounded, and the animals have adjusted to the change of scenery and are producing milk on their new floating home. Braden Phillips, Smithsonian, "Will Cities of the Future Have Floating Farms?," 13 July 2019 The law applies to limited liability companies only if it can be proven that at least 80 percent of the business giving the donation is owned or controlled by an entity that has already given a maximum donation. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland Democratic Party accuses donors to Gov. Hogan of campaign violations; Hogan lawyer calls allegations a ‘stunt’," 11 July 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

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

Comments on prove

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