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PROB'A-BLE, a. [Fr. from L. probabilis, from probo, to prove. See Prove.]

  1. Likely; having more evidence than the contrary, or evidence which inclines the mind to belief, but leaves some room for doubt. That is accounted probable, which has better arguments producible for it than can be brought against it. – South. I do not say that the principles of religion are merely probable; I have before asserted them to be morally certain. – Wilkins.
  2. That renders something probable; as, probable evidence, or probable presumption. – Blackstone.
  3. That may be proved. [Not in use.] – Milton.

PROB'A-BLY, adv.

Likely; in likelihood; with the appearance of truth or reality; as, the story is probably true; the account is probably correct. Distinguish between what may possibly, and what will probably be done. – L'Estrange.

PRO'BANG, n. [See Probe.]

In surgery, an instrument of whalebone and spunge, for removing obstructions in the throat or esophagus. – Coxe. A flexible piece of whalebone, with spunge fixed to the end. – Parr.

PRO'BATE, n. [L. probatus, probo, to prove.]

  1. The probate of a will or testament is the proving of its genuineness and validity, or the exhibition of the will to the proper officer, with the witnesses if necessary, and the process of determining its validity, and the registry of it, and such other proceedings as the laws prescribe, as preliminary to the execution of it by the executor.
  2. The right or jurisdiction of proving wills. In England, the spiritual court has the probate of wills. In the United States, the probate of wills belongs to a court of civil jurisdiction established by law, usually to a single judge, called judge of probate, or a surrogate.
  3. Proof. [Not used.] – Skelton.

PRO-BA'TION, n. [L. probatio.]

  1. The act of proving; proof. – Wilkins. Locke.
  2. Trial; examination; any proceeding designed to ascertain the truth; in universities, the examination of a student, as to his qualifications for a degree.
  3. In a monastic sense, trial or the year of novitiate, which a person must pass in a convent, to prove his virtue and his ability to bear the severities of the rule. – Encyc.
  4. Moral trial; the state of man in the present life, in which he has the opportunity of proving his character and being qualified for a happier state. Probation will end with the present life. – Nelson.
  5. In America, the trial of a clergyman's qualifications as a minister of the gospel, preparatory to his settlement. We say, a man is preaching on probation.
  6. In general, trial for proof, or satisfactory evidence, or the time of trial.


Serving for trial. – Bp. Richardson.


Serving for trial. All the probationary work of man is ended when death arrives. – Dwight.


  1. One who is on trial, or in a state to give proof of certain qualifications for a place or state. While yet a young probationer, / And candidate for heaven. – Dryden.
  2. A novice. – Decay of Piety.
  3. In Scotland, a student in divinity, who, producing a certificate of a professor in a university of his good morals and qualifications, is admitted to several trials, and on acquitting himself well, is licensed to preach. – Encyc.


The state of being a probationer; novitiate. [Little used.] – Locke.


A state of probation; novitiate; probation. [Little used and unnecessary.]


Serving for trial or proof. – South.

PRO-BA'TOR, n. [L.]

  1. An examiner; an approver. – Maydman.
  2. In law, an accuser. – Cowel.


  1. Serving for trial. – Bramhall.
  2. Serving for proof. – B. Taylor.
  3. Relating to proof. – Quintilian, Trans.

PROBATUM-EST, n. [Probatum est. L. it is proved.]

An expression subjoined to a receipt for the cure of a disease, denoting that it has been tried or proved.

PROBE, n. [from L. probo; Fr. eprouvette, a probe; G. probe, proof; Russ. probivayu, to pierce. The primary sense is to thrust, to drive, from straining, exertion of force.]

A surgeon's instrument for examining the depth or other circumstances of a wound, ulcer or cavity, or the direction of a sinus, or for searching for stones in the bladder and the like. – Encyc. Parr.

PROBE, v.t.

  1. To examine a wound, ulcer or some cavity of the body, by the use of an instrument thrust into the part. – South.
  2. To search to the bottom; to scrutinize; to examine thoroughly into causes and circumstances.

PROB'ED, pp.

Searched by a probe, as a wound, ulcer, &c.


Scissors used to open wounds, the blade of which, to be thrust into the orifice, has a button at the end. – Wiseman.

PROB'ING, ppr.

Examining a wound, ulcer, cavity in the body, &c. with a probe; scrutinizing.

PROB'I-TY, n. [L. probitas, from probo, to prove; It. probità; Fr. probité.]

Primarily, tried virtue or integrity, or approved actions; but in general, strict honesty; sincerity; veracity; integrity in principle, or strict conformity of actions to the laws of justice. Probity of mind or principle is best evinced by probity of conduct in social dealings, particularly in adhering to strict integrity in the observance and performance of rights called imperfect, which public laws do not reach and can not enforce.

PROB'LEM, n. [Fr. probleme; L. It. and Sp. problema; Gr. προβλημα, from προβαλλω, to throw forward; προ and βαλλω, to throw, L. pello.]

  1. A question proposed.
  2. In logic, a proposition that appears neither absolutely true nor false, and consequently may be asserted either in the affirmative or negative.
  3. In geometry, a proposition in which some operation or construction is required, as to divide a line or an angle, to let fall a perpendicular, &c. – Encyc.
  4. In general, any question involving doubt or uncertainty, and requiring some operation, experiment or further evidence for its solution. The problem is, whether a strong and constant belief that a thing will be, helps any thing to the erecting of the thing. – Bacon.


Questionable; uncertain; unsettled; disputable; doubtful. Diligent inquiries into problematical guilt, leave, a gate wide open to informers. – Swift.


Doubtfully; dubiously; uncertainly.


One who proposes problems. – Evelyn.


To propose problems. [Ill formed and not used.] – B. Jonson.