prove

(redirected from proves)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
Related to proves: according, scruffy, take for granted, taken for granted, seize the opportunity, reveals

fend and prove

dated To argue and defend a point or opinion. I was forced to fend and prove my stance before the tribunal.
See also: and, fend, prove

The exception proves the rule.

Prov. Something that does not follow a rule shows that the rule exists. (Often used facetiously, to justify some rule you have proposed but which someone else has listed exceptions. From a Latin phrase meaning that an exception tests a rule.) Ellen: Men are always rude. Jane: But Alan's always polite. And Larry and Ted are polite, too. Ellen: They're just the exceptions that prove the rule. Bill: All the shows on TV are aimed at people with low intelligence. Alan: What about that news program you like to watch? Bill: The exception proves the rule.
See also: exception, prove, rule

prove oneself as something

to demonstrate that one can serve in a certain office or capacity. It's time to promote her. She has proved herself as a teller. I proved myself as an investor by making a lot of money in the stock market.
See also: prove

prove something to someone

to substantiate a claim about something to someone; to make someone believe or accept a statement about something. What do I have to do to prove my innocence to you? Nothing you say will prove it to me.
See also: prove

prove to be something

to be shown to be someone or something; to be found to be someone or something. Susan proved to be a good friend when she lent me some money. The food proved to be spoiled when I smelled it.
See also: prove

What does that prove?

Fig. So what?; that does not mean anything. (A defensive expression. The heaviest stress is on that. Often with so, as in the examples.) Tom: It seems that you were in the apartment the same night that it was robbed. Bob: So, what does that prove? Tom: Nothing, really. It's just something we need to keep in mind. Rachel: You're late again on your car payment. Jane: What does that prove? Rachel: Simply that you can't afford the car and we are going to repossess it.
See also: does

have something to prove

to need to show that you can succeed when people expect you to fail After two dismal seasons, the players on this team feel they have something to prove.
Usage notes: also used in the negative form have nothing to prove or not have anything to prove (to have no reason to persuade others you can succeed, because you have already succeeded): He was as famous as he wanted to be, and felt he no longer had anything to prove.
See also: have, prove

prove your mettle

(slightly formal) also show your mettle
to show that you are brave and have a strong character As a reporter, she certainly proved her mettle working in the midst of a war zone.
See also: mettle, prove

prove out something

also prove something out
to show that something is true Of the many accusations against her, only two ever proved out. I think there was better safety when there were more controls on the industry, but I don't know if the accident rates will prove that out or not.
See also: out, prove

be the exception that proves the rule

if you say something is the exception that proves the rule, you mean that although it does not support the statement you have made, the statement is usually true This woman is the exception that proves the rule that it is impossible to be a warmonger and a feminist at the same time.
See also: exception, prove, rule

prove/show your mettle

  (slightly formal)
to prove that you are good at doing something by succeeding in a difficult situation A relative newcomer to the game, he's certainly proved his mettle in the last two games.
See also: mettle, prove

exception proves the rule, the

An instance that does not obey a rule shows that the rule exists. For example, John's much shorter than average but excels at basketball-the exception proves the rule . This seemingly paradoxical phrase is the converse of the older idea that every rule has an exception. [Mid-1600s]
See also: exception, prove

prove out

Succeed, turn out well, as in Farm-raised trout has proved out so well that the fish industry plans to experiment with other species . [Mid-1900s]
See also: out, prove
References in classic literature ?
But well thou comst Before thy fellows, ambitious to win From me som Plume, that thy success may show Destruction to the rest: this pause between (Unanswerd least thou boast) to let thee know; At first I thought that Libertie and Heav'n To heav'nly Soules had bin all one; but now I see that most through sloth had rather serve, Ministring Spirits, traind up in Feast and Song; Such hast thou arm'd, the Minstrelsie of Heav'n, Servilitie with freedom to contend, As both thir deeds compar'd this day shall prove.
The authors do not tell us "how it's done," which is a pity, for it would surely prove exciting.
Come now with me," he cried, "and I will soon prove that I am right.
If it be that in devotion Lies a power hearts to move, That which every day I show thee, Helpful to my suit should prove.
It is just his fantastic dreams, his vulgar folly that he will desire to retain, simply in order to prove to himself--as though that were so necessary--that men still are men and not the keys of a piano, which the laws of nature threaten to control so completely that soon one will be able to desire nothing but by the calendar.
Bingley, when questioned by Jane, had long ago asserted his blamelessness in the affair; that proud and repulsive as were his manners, she had never, in the whole course of their acquaintance-- an acquaintance which had latterly brought them much together, and given her a sort of intimacy with his ways-- seen anything that betrayed him to be unprincipled or unjust--anything that spoke him of irreligious or immoral habits; that among his own connections he was esteemed and valued-- that even Wickham had allowed him merit as a brother, and that she had often heard him speak so affectionately of his sister as to prove him capable of some amiable feeling; that had his actions been what Mr.
He said, his people could not go home satisfied unless they had something to take with them to prove that they had met with the white men.
And therefore, those that are seconds in factions, do many times, when the faction subdivideth, prove principals; but many times also, they prove ciphers and cashiered; for many a man's strength is in opposition; and when that faileth, he groweth out of use.
We don't have to prove it," answered Dorothy, indignantly.
He assured Emily that he had only decided on writing to her, after some hesitation, in the hope of serving interests which he did not himself understand, but which might prove to be interests worthy of consideration, nevertheless.
But I tremble for you when I think of all you are to prove by Jackson's arm.
Thanks to a sacrifice to your interests and your happiness, on Miss Silvester's part--which I tell you frankly I have done my utmost to prevent--I am in a position to prove positively that Arnold Brinkworth was a single man when he married you from my house in Kent.
Notwithstanding this, let us assure our sweet friend and the sister arts of imitation that if she will only prove her title to exist in a well-ordered State we shall be delighted to receive her--we are very conscious of her charms; but we may not on that account betray the truth.
As to the apprehension of bestowing bounty on such as may hereafter prove unworthy objects, because many have proved such; surely it can never deter a good man from generosity.
Verily, it is difficult to prove all being, and hard to make it speak.