verb (used with object), proved, proved or prov·en, prov·ing.

verb (used without object), proved, proved or prov·en, prov·ing.

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

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for proven

Contemporary Examples of proven

Historical Examples of proven

  • Mr. Barlee was a proven friend of the colonists and of West Australia.

  • "Whether they're that remains to be proven, Mr. Baumberger!"

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • Nor, indeed, could it ever have hurt her, coming from some one so proven as Gaspare.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • Just as the one was proven to be older than the others and the others than the one.

  • But that after death the soul will continue to exist is not yet proven even to my own satisfaction.



British Dictionary definitions for proven



a past participle of prove


tried; testeda proven method
Derived Formsprovenly, adverb


verb proves, proving, proved, proved or proven (mainly tr)

(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
to establish the quality of, esp by experiment or scientific analysis
law to establish the validity and genuineness of (a will)
to show (oneself) able or courageous
(copula) to be found or shown (to be)this has proved useless; he proved to be invaluable
printing to take a trial impression of (type, etc)
(intr) (of dough) to rise in a warm place before baking
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 proven

1650s, past participle adjective from alternative past participle (originally in Scottish legal use) of prove (v).



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 proven


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.