prove

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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.
See also: and, fend, prove

be on (one's) mettle

To be determined to succeed and thus prove one's worth, often in a difficult or unpleasant situation. I know my employees think I'm too young to be their supervisor, so I have to be on my mettle every day at the office.
See also: mettle, on

be the exception that proves the rule

To contradict a rule and thus confirm that the rule exists. A: "We're always told to get eight hours of sleep, but I usually feel really groggy when I sleep that much." B: "Well, I guess you're the exception that proves the rule."
See also: exception, prove, rule, that

have something to prove

To have the need to display and confirm one's abilities to others who are doubtful. His parents expect his art career to fail, so he definitely has something to prove with this upcoming gallery show.
See also: have, prove, something

prove (one's) mettle

To prove that one has endurance and strength of character, or the necessary skills, abilities, or traits to succeed in something. You may be the youngest lawyer in the firm, but you certainly proved your mettle in that high-profile murder case. The new CEO proved her mettle by completely restructuring the dying mobile phone division into the powerhouse it is today.
See also: mettle, prove

prove out

1. To show the validity of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "prove" and "out." If you can prove out these allegations, that company will soon be faced with a scandal.
2. To succeed. A noun or pronoun can be used between "prove" and "out." My hypothesis still has not proved out, and I can't determine why.
See also: out, prove

the exception that proves the rule

That which contradicts or goes against a supposed rule, and therefore proves it in one's mind. A: "Video games are all just mindless filth that rots kids' brains." B: "I don't know, a lot of them let kids express themselves creatively or learn about the world in new ways." A: "Bah, those are just the exceptions that prove the rule."
See also: exception, prove, rule, that

the exception proves the rule

That which contradicts or goes against a supposed rule therefore proves that it is almost always true. A: "Video games are all just mindless filth that rots kids' brains." B: "I don't know, a lot of them let kids express themselves creatively or learn about the world in new ways." A: "Bah, the exceptions just prove the rule."
See also: exception, prove, rule

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, that, what

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

the exception that proves the rule

You say that something is the exception that proves the rule to mean that the example that you have just mentioned is not normal and is the opposite of what you usually find. Towers should generally be arranged in clusters, but the Post Office Tower was the exception that proved the rule — it needs to stand alone so that its signals are not interrupted. The most creative minds are often said to be the product of a problematic childhood, but Hornby must be the exception that proves the rule. Note: `Prove' here means `to test by experiment or analysis' rather than `to establish as true'. So, the meaning is that an exception tests a rule, not that it establishes the rule as true in all other situations.
See also: exception, prove, rule, that

the exception that proves the rule

a particular case that is so unusual that it is evidence of the validity of the rule that generally applies.
This phrase comes from the Latin legal maxim exceptio probat regulum in casibus non exceptis ‘exception proves the rule in the cases not excepted’. This in fact meant that the recognition of something as an exception proved the existence of a rule, but the idiom is popularly used or understood to mean ‘a person or thing that does not conform to the general rule affecting others of that class’
1998 Spectator The success of The Full Monty in the United States is an exception which proves the rule. On such lucky breaks, industries and economies are not built.
See also: exception, prove, rule, that

the exˈception that proves the ˈrule

(saying) people say that something is the exception that proves the rule when they are stating something that seems to be different from the normal situation, but they mean that the normal situation remains true in general: English people are supposed to be very reserved, but Pete is the exception that proves the rule — he’ll chat to anyone!
See also: exception, prove, rule, that

be on, show, prove, etc. your ˈmettle

be prepared to do the best work you can or perform as well as you can in a particular situation: When the boss comes round, I want you all to show your mettle.He’ll have to be on his mettle if he wants to win the next race.
Mettle is the ability and determination to do something successfully in spite of difficult conditions.
See also: mettle
References in periodicals archive ?
When the system passes the leak test, it should be recorded on the prove report.
When the master meter condition is verified, its condition should be recorded on the prove report.
A time for stabilization will occur at the beginning of the prove and alter each flow rate change.
When the prove run runs for the specified time and the run is successful, the information is saved, the blower control valve is automatically adjusted to the next flow rate.
At any time during a prove run or cycle, the prove can be stopped (aborted).
When the prove for all flow rates is complete, the control valve closes, the prove report is printed, and all information is saved in a file on that prove.
Stanley appealed her conviction, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to prove that she was involved in the drug deal.
Furthermore, the court did not feel that the driver's question and the owner's answer about the black van was enough to prove that the driver was willfully ignorant that the car contained contraband.
Typically, the police must deliver the package to the suspect before they can prove the suspect knowlingly possessed the illegal contents.
The Supreme Court of Colorado ruled that on those facts there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew there was marijuana in the suitcase.
They appealed their convictions claiming that there was insufficient evidence to prove knowing possession of the drugs in the UPS package.
This watchdog role of TPIs proves significant in sealing the surrender process and obtaining peaceful resolutions to these incidents.
TPIs prove useful in surmounting the mistrust subjects have for law enforcement officials.
Frequently, subjects threatening to commit suicide prove responsive to this form of communication.
All hostage or barricade situations prove unique, and few absolute strategies exist in the negotiation profession.