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[proh-buh-tiv, prob-uh-] /ˈproʊ bə tɪv, ˈprɒb ə-/
serving or designed for testing or trial.
affording proof or evidence.
Also, probatory
[proh-buh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈproʊ bəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA)
Origin of probative
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Middle French probatif < Latin probātīvus of proof. See probate, -ive
Related forms
probatively, adverb
nonprobative, adjective
nonprobatory, adjective
unprobative, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for probative
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Ap′probatory, Ap′probative, of or belonging to one who approves.

  • Let a sufficient amount of probative evidence be addressed to the eye, the act of believing must follow.

    The Gospel of St. John Frederick Denison Maurice
  • The second clause, relating to instances in which the phenomenon is absent, depends for its probative force upon Prop.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • Certainly, there seems to be some illusion in the common belief in the probative force of prediction.

    Logic Carveth Read
  • But Quintilian has less faith in the probative value of fictitious examples than he has in those drawn from authentic history.

British Dictionary definitions for probative


serving to test or designed for testing
providing proof or evidence
Derived Forms
probatively, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin probātīvus concerning proof
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for probative

mid-15c., from Latin probativus "belonging to proof," from probat-, past participle stem of probare (see prove).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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