Definition for PROVE

PROVE, v.t. [pröv; Sax. profian; D. proeven; G. probiren; Dan. pröver; Sw. profva; W. provi; Arm. proui, prouein; L. probo; It. provare; Sp. probar, to try; Fr. eprouver; Russ. probuyu, to prove; probevayu, to pierce, to penetrate, to send by force. The primary sense is to strain, to urge by force, or rather to thrust or drive. The word brow may be of the same family from its projection. See Probe.]

  1. To try; to ascertain some unknown quality or truth by an experiment, or by a test or standard. Thus we prove the strength of gunpowder by experiment; we prove the strength or solidity of cannon by experiment. We prove the contents of a vessel by comparing it with a standard measure.
  2. To evince, establish or ascertain as truth, reality or fact, by testimony or other evidence. The plaintif in a suit, must prove the truth of his declaration; the prosecutor must prove his charges against the accused.
  3. To evince truth by argument, induction or reasoning; to deduce certain conclusions from propositions that are true or admitted. If it is admitted that every immoral act is dishonorable to a rational being, and that dueling is an immoral act; then it is proved by necessary inference, that dueling is dishonorable to a rational being.
  4. To ascertain the genuineness or validity of; to verify; as, to prove a will.
  5. To experience; to try by suffering or encountering; to gain certain knowledge by the operation of something on ourselves, or by some act of our own. Let him in arms the power of Turnus prove. – Dryden.
  6. In arithmetic, to show, evince or ascertain the correctness of any operation or result. Thus in subtraction, if the difference between two numbers, added to the lesser number, makes a sum equal to the greater, the correctness of the subtraction is proved. In other words, if the sum of the remainder and of the subtrahend, is equal to the minuend, the operation of subtraction is proved to be correct.
  7. To try; to examine. Prove your own selves. – 2 Cor. xiii.
  8. Men prove God, when by their provocations they put his patience to trial, Ps. xcv.; or when by obedience they make trial how much he will countenance such conduct. – Mal. iii.

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