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verb (used with object), proved, proved or prov·en, prov·ing.
  1. to establish the truth or genuineness of, as by evidence or argument: to prove one's claim.
  2. Law. to establish the authenticity or validity of (a will); probate.
  3. to give demonstration of by action.
  4. to subject to a test, experiment, comparison, analysis, or the like, to determine quality, amount, acceptability, characteristics, etc.: to prove ore.
  5. to show (oneself) to have the character or ability expected of one, especially through one's actions.
  6. Mathematics. to verify the correctness or validity of by mathematical demonstration or arithmetical proof.
  7. Also proof. Printing. to take a trial impression of (type, a cut, etc.).
  8. to cause (dough) to rise to the necessary lightness.
  9. Archaic. to experience.
verb (used without object), proved, proved or prov·en, prov·ing.
  1. to turn out: The experiment proved to be successful.
  2. to be found by trial or experience to be: His story proved false.
  3. (of dough) to rise to a specified lightness: Leave covered until it has proved.

Origin of prove

1125–75; Middle English proven < Old French prover < Latin probāre to try, test, prove, approve, derivative of probus good. See probity
Related formsprov·a·ble, adjectiveprov·a·bil·i·ty, prov·a·ble·ness, nounprov·a·bly, adverbprov·en·ly, adverbprov·er, nounhalf-proved, adjectivehalf-prov·en, adjectivenon·prov·a·ble, adjectiveo·ver·prove, verb (used with object), o·ver·proved, o·ver·proved or o·ver·prov·en, o·ver·prov·ing.pre·prove, verb (used with object), pre·proved, pre·proved or pre·prov·en, pre·prov·ing.self-prov·ing, adjectivesem·i·prov·en, adjectiveun·prov·a·ble, adjectiveun·proved, adjectiveun·prov·en, adjectiveun·prov·ing, adjectivewell-proved, adjectivewell-prov·en, adjective

Synonyms for prove

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Antonyms for prove

Usage note

Either proved or proven is standard as the past participle of prove : Events have proved (or proven ) him wrong. As a modifier, proven is by far the more common: a proven fact. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for proved

tested, verified, settled, proven, established

Examples from the Web for proved

Contemporary Examples of proved

Historical Examples of proved

  • Who could have proved a better protector than Phidias has been?


    Lydia Maria Child

  • She did so, and it proved an effectual screen from head to foot.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • That he had reason for his distrust was proved by Ben Haley's movements.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • It proved to be a sign some twenty feet high and a whole block long.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Now you know how that Monte Cristo carried on after he'd proved up.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for proved


verb proves, proving, proved, proved or proven (mainly tr)
  1. (may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to establish or demonstrate the truth or validity of; verify, esp by using an established sequence of procedures or statements
  2. to establish the quality of, esp by experiment or scientific analysis
  3. law to establish the validity and genuineness of (a will)
  4. to show (oneself) able or courageous
  5. (copula) to be found or shown (to be)this has proved useless; he proved to be invaluable
  6. printing to take a trial impression of (type, etc)
  7. (intr) (of dough) to rise in a warm place before baking
  8. archaic to undergo
Derived Formsprovable, adjectiveprovability, nounprovably, adverb

Word Origin for prove

C12: from Old French prover, from Latin probāre to test, from probus honest
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 proved



late 12c., pruven, proven "to try, test; evaluate; demonstrate," from Old French prover, pruver "show; convince; put to the test" (11c., Modern French prouver), from Latin probare "to make good; esteem, represent as good; make credible, show, demonstrate; test, inspect; judge by trial" (source also of Spanish probar, Italian probare), from probus "worthy, good, upright, virtuous," from PIE *pro-bhwo- "being in front," from *pro-, extended form of root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per), + root *bhu- "to be" (cf. Latin fui "I have been," futurus "about to be;" Old English beon "to be;" see be). Related: Proved; proven; proving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with proved


In addition to the idiom beginning with prove

  • prove out

also see:

  • exception proves the rule
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.