[proh-buh-tiv, prob-uh-]


serving or designed for testing or trial.
affording proof or evidence.

Also pro·ba·to·ry [proh-buh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈproʊ bəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/.

Origin of probative

1425–75; late Middle English < Middle French probatif < Latin probātīvus of proof. See probate, -ive
Related formspro·ba·tive·ly, adverbnon·pro·ba·tive, adjectivenon·pro·ba·to·ry, adjectiveun·pro·ba·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for probative

Contemporary Examples of probative

Historical Examples of probative

  • 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.


    Carveth Read

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


    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


probatory (ˈprəʊbətərɪ, -trɪ)


serving to test or designed for testing
providing proof or evidence
Derived Formsprobatively, adverb

Word Origin for probative

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

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