[ proov ]
/ pruv /
See synonyms for: prove / proved / proven / proves on

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

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



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Origin of prove

First recorded in 1125–75; Middle English proven, from Old French prover, from Latin probāre “to try, test, prove, approve,” derivative of probus “good.” See probity

usage note for prove

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.

historical usage of prove

The idiom “The exception proves the rule” comes direct from the Roman statesman, lawyer, orator, and man of letters Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 b.c.) in a speech he wrote and delivered, Pro Balbo, in 56 b.c., as defense counsel for Lucius Cornelius Balbo Major (“Senior”). The full Latin sentence is exceptiō probat rēgulam in cāsibus non exceptīs “The exception tests the rule in cases that are not excepted,” which makes clear the implied existence of a general rule: for example, “No parking on Saturdays and Sundays” implies that parking is allowed the other five days of the week. Most often, however, the amputated sentence “The exception proves the rule” allows the meaning to be “The exception validates the rule.”

OTHER WORDS FROM prove Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for prove

British Dictionary definitions for prove

/ (pruːv) /

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

Derived forms of prove

provable, 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

Idioms and Phrases with prove


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