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fend and prove
dated To argue and defend a point or opinion. I was forced to fend and prove my stance before the tribunal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
prove out somethingalso 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.
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.
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.
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]
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]