prove

verb
\ ˈprüv How to pronounce prove (audio) \
proved; proved or proven\ ˈprü-​vən How to pronounce prove (audio) , British also  ˈprō-​ \; proving\ ˈprü-​viŋ How to pronounce prove (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 proved herself a great actress the vaccine has been proven effective after years of tests
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

Other Words from prove

prover \ ˈprü-​vər How to pronounce prove (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 Rupp has another angle that might prove thorny for the city. San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Jan. 2022 Their discoveries of skulls and other remains in Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge helped prove that human life first emerged in Africa. Washington Post, 8 Jan. 2022 But what Burkhart and the other investigators on the case couldn’t have know is how important that evidence — bagged and preserved — would prove to be nearly four decades later. oregonlive, 8 Jan. 2022 But Page Pate, a Georgia lawyer and legal analyst, said this trial could prove to be challenging for prosecutors. New York Times, 7 Jan. 2022 Salt Lake City and Nashville are both in solidly-Republican states, while Milwaukee and Pittsburgh are in swing states that could prove crucial to the outcome of the 2024 election. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Jan. 2022 Virginia’s Constitution bars consecutive gubernatorial terms, and should Mr. Youngkin prove a success in office, Ms. Sears would be nearly certain to secure the Republican nomination for 2025. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 7 Jan. 2022 But as the coming weeks would prove, the focus on concrete examples of public religion was prescient, and helped chart a pragmatic course for some of the right’s most controversial plans. Kathryn Joyce, The New Republic, 6 Jan. 2022 The government has asked a judge to keep 258 statements out of the Whitmer kidnap trial, statements the defense claims will help prove that their clients were entrapped. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, 6 Jan. 2022

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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Time Traveler for prove

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near prove

provascular

prove

prove a point

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Statistics for prove

Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Prove.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prove. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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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.

prove

transitive verb
\ ˈprüv How to pronounce prove (audio) \
proved; proved or proven\ ˈprü-​vən How to pronounce prove (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 prove (audio) \ adjective
provableness noun
provably \ ˈprü-​və-​blē How to pronounce prove (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on prove

Nglish: Translation of prove for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prove for Arabic Speakers

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