- the arbitrary standard strength, as of an alcoholic liquor.
- strength with reference to this standard: “100 proof” signifies a proof spirit, usually 50% alcohol.
- a trial impression, as of composed type, taken to correct errors and make alterations.
- one of a number of early and superior impressions taken before the printing of the ordinary issue: to pull a proof.
verb (used with object)
- to test the effectiveness of (yeast), as by combining with warm water so that a bubbling action occurs.
- to cause (especially bread dough) to rise due to the addition of baker's yeast or other leavening.
Origin of proof
Synonyms for proof
Examples from the Web for proof
Contemporary Examples of proof
They're also proof that no matter how fancy you are, you can't escape the urge to watch two girls make out.High-End Pervs Film Benedict Cumberbatch and Reese Witherspoon Sucking Face
December 11, 2014
Then stab her to death and bring me back her lungs and liver as proof of your deed.
He took out the lungs and liver and brought them to the queen as proof that the child was dead.
He then struck an optimistic note, saying his own life is proof that we have made great progress in matters of race.Darren Wilson Wasn’t Indicted—the System Was
November 25, 2014
Italian authorities say they have proof they are fighting the mobs.Days of Mafia Mayhem Are Wracking Italy Once Again
Barbie Latza Nadeau
November 22, 2014
Historical Examples of proof
But you think otherwise, I will not put you upon labouring the proof, as you call it.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
That he killed a mutineer is proof of his resolute adherence to discipline.
These goods which you sell are not to be seen, nor is there any proof that you hold them.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
But Posthumus will not await the proof for which he has asked.The Man Shakespeare
It is a proof of human weakness, and not of the truth of their art.The Imaginary Invalid
- the alcoholic strength of proof spirit
- the strength of a beverage or other alcoholic liquor as measured on a scale in which the strength of proof spirit is 100 degrees
Word Origin for proof
adjective, combining form
Word Origin for -proof
early 13c., preove "evidence to establish the fact of (something)," from Anglo-French preove, Old French prueve "proof, test, experience" (13c., Modern French preuve), from Late Latin proba "a proof," a back-formation from Latin probare "to prove" (see prove). "The devocalization of v to f ensued upon the loss of final e; cf. the relation of v and f in believe, belief, relieve, relief, behove, behoof, etc. [OED].
Meaning "act of proving" is early 14c. Meaning "act of testing or making trial of anything" is from late 14c., from influence of prove. Meaning "standard of strength of distilled liquor" is from 1705. In photography from 1855. Typographical sense of "trial impression to test type" is from c.1600. Numismatic sense of "coin struck to test a die" is from 1762; now mostly in reference to coins struck from highly polished dies, mainly for collectors.
Adjectival sense (proof against) is recorded from 1590s, from the noun in expressions such as proof of (mid-15c.), hence extended senses involving "tested power" in compounds such as fireproof (1630s), waterproof (1725), foolproof (1902), etc. Shakespeare has shame-proof.