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See approve and proof.


approof (countable and uncountable, plural approofs)

  1. (archaic) trial; proof; testimony; affirmation.
    • c. 1600, Jonson, Ben, Cynthia's Revels:
      A man so absolute in my approof, / That nature hath reserv'd small dignity, / That he enjoys not.
    • c. 1604–1605, Shakespeare, William, All's Well That Ends Well, act 1, scene 2, lines 48–51:
      His good remembrance, sir, / Lies richer in your thoughts than on his tomb; / So in approof lives not his epitaph / As in your royal speech.
    • 1815, Park, Thomas, Heliconia: A Selection of English Poetry, Advertisement:
      So popular did this volume become, as to pass through eight successive editions in the reign of Elizabeth; and it has lately been revived, under every editorial advantage, by the joint care of Sir Egerton Brydges and Mr. Haslewood, whose taste and accuracy need not my approof.
  2. (archaic) approval; commendation
    • c. 1603–1604, Shakespeare, William, Measure for Measure, act 2, scene 4, lines 172–174:
      O perilous mouths, / That bear in them one and the selfsame tongue, / Either of condemnation or approof,
    • 1640, Gower (translator), John, Ovids Festivalls:
      But above all, his own works testifie of him to this day, and clearly demonstrate, that what respect the world, and what approof and commendations Authours have given him, was not affected but well deserved
    • 1814, Lofft, Capel, Laura:
      O GENTLE Maiden! may an humble Muse / That oft hath sought thy fair Approof to gain / One look benign from thy meek eye obtain / While now she culls the flowrets Nature strews / All in her simple Walks, no cultur'd Plain.