W1S2 [pru:v] v past tense proved past participle proved or proven [ˈpru:vən] especially AmE
1¦(show something is true)¦
3 prove yourself/prove something (to somebody)
4 prove yourself (to be) something
5 what is somebody trying to prove?
6 prove a point
[Date: 1100-1200; : Old French; Origin: prover, from Latin probare; PROBE2]
to show that something is true by providing facts, information etc
You're wrong, and I can prove it.
prove (that)
Tests have proved that the system works.
prove sth to sb
I knew he had done it, but there was no way I could prove it to Eddie.
prove sb's guilt/innocence
He claims the police destroyed records that could prove the officer's guilt.
prove sb wrong/innocent etc
They say I'm too old, but I'm going to prove them all wrong.
To prove his point (=show that he was right) , he mentioned several other experiments which had produced similar results.
2.) ¦(BE)¦ [linking verb]
if someone or something proves difficult, helpful, a problem etc, they are difficult, helpful, a problem etc
The recent revelations may prove embarrassing to the President.
prove to be sth
The design proved to be a success.
3.) prove yourself/prove sth (to sb)
to show how good you are at doing something
When I first started this job, I felt I had to prove myself.
4.) prove yourself (to be) sth
to show other people that you are a particular type of person
She's proved herself to be a very reliable worker.
5.) what is sb trying to prove?
spoken said when you are annoyed by someone's actions and do not understand them
6.) prove a point
if someone does something to prove a point, they do it to show that they are right or that they can do something
I'm not going to run the marathon just to prove a point.
7.) ¦(BREAD)¦
if ↑dough (=unbaked bread mixture) proves, it rises and becomes light because of the ↑yeast in it
8.) ¦(LAW)¦ [T]
[i]law to show that a ↑will has been made in the correct way
>provable adj
HINT sense 1
You prove something to someone: I will prove to you (NOT prove you) that I'm right.
Do not use 'prove' to mean 'make something better.' Use improve: a chance to improve your English

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • prove — (v.) late 12c., prouwe, from O.Fr. prover (11c.), from L. probare to test, prove worthy, from probus worthy, good, upright, virtuous, from PIE *pro bhwo being in front, from *pro , extended form of root *per , + root *bhu to be (Cf. L. fui …   Etymology dictionary

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