- 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
Examples from the Web for proofs
Palmer's desire to be loved is large, his need for proofs of appreciation considerable.
A 20-year-old cook was detained for threatening national security, but no proofs whatsoever were presented in court.Venezuela’s Security Forces: A Killer Elite Beyond the Law|Marcel Ventura|April 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
October 1: “Big moments in geometry class this week...we have completed our first proofs!”Colleen Ritzer Is the Second U.S. Math Teacher Slain in Two Days|Michael Daly|October 24, 2013|DAILY BEAST
She said she "never doubted" her sister would come home as "we had all the proofs."Blonde Child Reunited With Roma Family After Irish Police Blunder|Tom Sykes|October 23, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Yeah, sometimes I go to this little Italian place around the corner called Otto to read or to do proofs.
Proofs of what has been advanced, may be drawn also from the consent of all, especially, of the wisest nations.The Rights of War and Peace|Hugo Grotius
Demand of him some proofs at least, of his being the messenger of the Deity.Life of Tecumseh, and of His Brother the Prophet|Benjamin Drake
Among these proofs was also a hastily-scribbled note from Walter that solved the mystery of John Clive's death.The Bittermeads Mystery|E. R. Punshon
But all this will come more fully out as we proceed with our proofs.The Great Commission|C. H. (Charles Henry) Mackintosh
Since I wish to persuade him of the change which has taken place in me, I must begin by giving him proofs of it.Popular Tales|Madame Guizot
British Dictionary definitions for proofs
- 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
Word Origin and History for proofs (1 of 2)
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.