synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of prove in English

English Online Dictionary. What means prove‎? What does prove mean?

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). Doublet of probe. More at for, be, soothe.

  • proove (obsolete)
  • enPR: pro͞ov, IPA(key): /pɹuːv/
  • Rhymes: -uːv

prove (third-person singular simple present proves, present participle proving, simple past proved, past participle proved or proven)

  1. (transitive) To demonstrate that something is true or viable; to give proof for.
  2. (intransitive) To turn out; to manifest.
  3. (copulative) To turn out to be.
    • 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.
  4. (transitive) To put to the test, to make trial of.
  5. (transitive) To ascertain or establish the genuineness or validity of; to verify.
    to prove a will
  6. (archaic, transitive) To experience.
  7. (printing, dated, transitive) To take a trial impression of; to take a proof of.
    to prove a page
  8. Alternative form of proof (allow (dough) to rise; test the activeness of (yeast); pressure-test (a firearm))
  9. (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”).

In addition, as an attributive adjective, proven is much more commonly used, and proved is widely proscribed – “a proven method”, not “a proved method”.

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 exception proves the rule
  • Paul Brians (2009) “proved”, in Common Errors in English Usage, 2nd edition, Wilsonville, Or.: William, James & Company, →ISBN.

prove (plural proves)

  1. (baking) The process of dough proofing.

Simple past form of proove, conjugated as a Germanic strong verb, on the pattern of choosechose.

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /pɹəʊv/


  1. simple past of proove
  • “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.
  • Prevo, pervo
  • preuve (chiefly Northern Dutch)

From Middle Dutch prove, from Middle French preuve, from Old French prueve, from Medieval Latin provenda, from older praebenda.

  • IPA(key): /ˈproː.və/
  • Hyphenation: pro‧ve
  • Rhymes: -oːvə

prove f (plural proven, diminutive provetje n)

  1. A gift out of love
  2. A life-long maintenance
  • provenier

From Latin proba.

prove f (plural provis)

  1. proof
  2. test, examination, trial
  3. evidence
  4. try
  • provâ

prove f

  1. plural of prova
  • pover

From Old Spanish [Term?], from Latin pauper, pauperem, from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂w- (few, small). Compare Spanish pobre.

prove (Latin spelling)

  1. poor
  • Rhymes: -ɔvi


  1. inflection of provar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative

share is an Free English Dictionary containing information about the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, definitions, translations, etymology and more.

Browse the English Dictionary

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.