From Middle English proven, from Old English prōfian (“to esteem, regard as, evince, try, prove”) and Old French prover (“to prove”), both from Latin probō (“test, try, examine, approve, show to be good or fit, prove”, verb), from probus (“good, worthy, excellent”), from Proto-Indo-European *pro-bʰuH-s (“being in front, prominent”), from *pro-, *per- (“toward”) + *bʰuH- (“to be”). Displaced native Middle English sothen (“to prove”), from Old English sōþian (“to prove”). More at for, be, soothe.
- proove (obsolete)
- (transitive) To demonstrate that something is true or viable; to give proof for.
- 1577, Socrates Scholasticus [i.e., Socrates of Constantinople], “Constantinus the Emperour Summoneth the Nicene Councell, it was Held at Nicæa a Citie of Bythnia for the Debatinge of the Controuersie about the Feast of Easter, and the Rootinge out of the Heresie of Arius”, in Eusebius Pamphilus, Socrates Scholasticus, Evagrius Scholasticus, Dorotheus, translated by Meredith Hanmer, The Avncient Ecclesiasticall Histories of the First Six Hundred Yeares after Christ, Wrytten in the Greeke Tongue by Three Learned Historiographers, Eusebius, Socrates, and Euagrius. [...], book I (The First Booke of the Ecclesiasticall Historye of Socrates Scholasticvs), imprinted at London: By Thomas Vautroullier dwelling in the Blackefriers by Ludgate, →OCLC, page 225:
- [VV]e are able with playne demonſtration to proue, and vvith reaſon to perſvvade that in tymes paſt our fayth vvas alike, that then vve preached thinges correſpondent vnto the forme of faith already published of vs, ſo that none in this behalfe can repyne or gaynesay vs.
- 1749, [John Cleland], “(Please specify the letter or volume)”, in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], London: […] G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] […], →OCLC:
- Mr. H …, whom no distinctions of that sort seemed to disturb, scarce gave himself or me breathing time from the last encounter, but, as if he had task'd himself to prove that the appearances of his vigour were not signs hung out in vain, in a few minutes he was in a condition for renewing the onset
- 2012 August 5, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “I Love Lisa” (season 4, episode 15; originally aired 02/11/1993)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name):
- Valentine’s Day means different things for different people. For Homer, it means forking over a hundred dollars for a dusty box of chocolates at the Kwik-E-Mart after characteristically forgetting the holiday yet again. For Ned, it’s another opportunity to prove his love for his wife. Most germane to the episode, for Lisa, Valentine’s Day means being the only person in her entire class to give Ralph a Valentine after noticing him looking crestfallen and alone at his desk.
- 2013 June 7, Gary Younge, “Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 18:
- WikiLeaks did not cause these uprisings but it certainly informed them. The dispatches revealed details of corruption and kleptocracy that many Tunisians suspected, but could not prove, and would cite as they took to the streets. They also exposed the blatant discrepancy between the west's professed values and actual foreign policies.
- I will prove that my method is more effective than yours.
- (intransitive) To turn out; to manifest.
- It proved to be a cold day.
- (copulative) To turn out to be.
- c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], 2nd edition, part 1, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, →OCLC; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire, London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act I, scene ii:
- But ſhall I prooue a traitor to my King?
- 1964, Jean Merrill, The Pushcart War, 2014 The New York Review Children's Collection edition, →ISBN, chapter 33, page 199:
- This battle did not take place in the streets. It took place entirely in words, and it was to prove the turning point in the war.
- 2012 May 5, Phil McNulty, “Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool”, in BBC Sport:
- He met Luis Suarez's cross at the far post, only for Chelsea keeper Petr Cech to show brilliant reflexes to deflect his header on to the bar. Carroll turned away to lead Liverpool's insistent protests that the ball had crossed the line but referee Phil Dowd and assistant referee Andrew Garratt waved play on, with even a succession of replays proving inconclusive.
- Have an exit strategy should your calculations prove incorrect.
- (transitive) To put to the test, to make trial of.
- They took the experimental car to the proving-grounds.
- The exception proves the rule.
- The hypothesis has not been proven to our satisfaction.
- 1825 June 22, [Walter Scott], chapter IV, in Tales of the Crusaders. […], volume I (The Betrothed), Edinburgh: […] [James Ballantyne and Co.] for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co., →OCLC, page 71:
- Wounded and overthrown, the Britons continued their resistance, clung round the legs of the Norman steeds, and cumbered their advance; while their brethren, thrusting with pikes, proved every joint and crevice of the plate and mail, or grappling with the men-at-arms, strove to pull them from their horses by main force, or beat them down with their bills and Welch hooks.
- (transitive) To ascertain or establish the genuineness or validity of; to verify.
- to prove a will
- (archaic, transitive) To experience.
- (printing, dated, transitive) To take a trial impression of; to take a proof of.
- to prove a page
- Alternative form of
- (homeopathy) To determine by experiment which effects a substance causes when ingested.
As the past participle of prove, proven is sometimes still discouraged, and proved is preferred (“have proved” rather than “have proven”). However, they are both about equally common in US English, and both are used and considered correct in UK English. In UK English, “proved” is more common, but not, for example, in the very common expression “innocent until proven guilty” (rarely “innocent until proved guilty”).
Historically, proved is the older form, while proven arose as a Scottish variant – see etymology. Used in legal writing from the mid-17th century, it entered literary usage more slowly, only becoming significant in the 19th century, with the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson among the earliest frequent users (presumably for reasons of meter). In the 19th century, proven was widely discouraged, and remained significantly less common through the mid-20th century (proved being used approximately four times as often); by the late 20th century it came to be used about equally often in US English.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- Paul Brians (2009), “proved”, in Common Errors in English Usage, 2nd edition, Wilsonville, Or.: William, James & Company, →ISBN.
prove (plural proves)
- (baking) The process of dough proofing.
- 2009, Paul Allam, David McGuinness, Bourke Street Bakery: the ultimate baking companion:
- You may also need to think about what the prove is doing to the loaf of bread — it is warming the dough and making it moist, allowing it to rise […]
- simple past of
- “prove”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- “prove”, in The Century Dictionary […], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
- preuve (chiefly Northern Dutch)
prove f (plural provis)
- plural of
prove (Latin spelling)
- 2012 November 21, Süzet Fransez, “Djudaizmo i globalizasyon”, in Şalom:
- Son nombrozas las personas ke pensan ke la globalizasyon va traer una monotonia i ke munchos paizes van a pedrer sus otentisidad, kostumbres, uzos de bivir ets... i ke los rikos van a ser mas rikos i los proves mas proves.
- Numerous are the people who think that globalization will bring about a monotony and that many countries will lose their authenticity, customs, way of life, etc... and that the rich will be richer and the poor poorer.
- Rhymes: -ɔvi