- 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
Related Words for proofsinformation, confirmation, picture, demonstration, argument, clue, reason, criterion, testimony, testament, validation, data, verification, impression, exhibit, wherefore, attestation, facts, witness, corroboration
Examples from the Web for proofs
Contemporary Examples of proofs
Palmer's desire to be loved is large, his need for proofs of appreciation considerable.Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up
September 27, 2014
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
April 22, 2014
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
October 24, 2013
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
October 23, 2013
Yeah, sometimes I go to this little Italian place around the corner called Otto to read or to do proofs.Literary City: Jay McInerney’s New York
January 26, 2013
Historical Examples of proofs
The proofs are to be found in these works themselves, plain for all men to read.The Man Shakespeare
Sir John hoped so, but the proofs were not yet satisfactory.
And had not I proofs of his generous conduct and attachment to me?
The last post had brought the proofs of his second novel to him.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
What do you think of me, Duffer—and after all the proofs we've just had of the dangerous creature I am?It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
- 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
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.