# Proof vs. Prove: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 3, 2023

**"Proof" is evidence or demonstration of a fact or truth, while "prove" is the action of establishing the truth or validity of something.**

## Key Differences

"Proof" and "prove" are closely related in terms of meaning, but they serve different grammatical functions. "Proof" is primarily a noun and signifies evidence or validation that confirms the authenticity or truth of a statement. In contrast, "prove" is a verb that describes the act or process of demonstrating, verifying, or confirming a fact or truth.

When one talks about "proof," it often conjures the idea of tangible or intangible evidence supporting a claim. For instance, in legal settings, "proof" is essential to confirm allegations or defend against them. On the other hand, "prove" underscores the action. When someone sets out to "prove" something, they are actively working to establish its truth through evidence or argument.

In everyday conversation, if someone says they have "proof" of an event, they mean they possess evidence of that event's occurrence. Conversely, when someone states they can "prove" something, they are expressing their ability or intention to demonstrate the veracity of a statement or claim.

In some contexts, "proof" can also refer to a measure of strength, especially concerning alcoholic beverages. For instance, a spirit's "proof" indicates its alcohol content. However, "prove" doesn't have this meaning. Instead, it remains grounded in the idea of validating or confirming.

Another distinction between "proof" and "prove" comes in their usage in idiomatic expressions. Phrases like "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" emphasize evidence through experience. Meanwhile, to "prove oneself" indicates demonstrating one's abilities or worth in a particular situation.

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## Comparison Chart

### Grammatical Function

Noun

Verb

### Primary Meaning

Evidence or validation of truth

Act of establishing truth or validity

### Example Usage

"Proof was provided in court."

"She tried to prove her point."

### Associated Contexts

Legal settings, measures of alcoholic strength

Process of validation, demonstrating capability

### Idiomatic Expressions

"The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

"She needs to prove herself in her new job."

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## Proof and Prove Definitions

#### Proof

Evidence supporting a claim or assertion.

The detective found the proof linking the suspect to the crime scene.

#### Prove

To demonstrate one's abilities.

She wanted to prove herself to her team.

#### Proof

The evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true.

#### Prove

To subject to a test.

The metal was proved to determine its strength.

#### Proof

The validation of a proposition by application of specified rules, as of induction or deduction, to assumptions, axioms, and sequentially derived conclusions.

#### Prove

To establish the truth or validity of (something) by the presentation of argument or evidence

The novel proves that the essayist can write in more than one genre. The storm proved him to be wrong in his prediction.

#### Proof

A statement or argument used in such a validation.

#### Prove

To demonstrate the reality of (something)

He proved his strength by doing 50 pushups.

#### Proof

Convincing or persuasive demonstration

Was asked for proof of his identity.

An employment history that was proof of her dependability.

#### Prove

To show (oneself) to be what is specified or to have a certain characteristic

Proved herself to be a formidable debater.

Proved herself to be worthy of the task.

#### Proof

The state of being convinced or persuaded by consideration of evidence.

#### Prove

To establish by the required amount of evidence

Proved his case in court.

#### Proof

Determination of the quality of something by testing; trial

Put one's beliefs to the proof.

#### Prove

To establish the authenticity of (a will).

#### Proof

The establishment of the truth or falsity of an allegation by evidence.

#### Prove

To demonstrate the validity of (a hypothesis or proposition).

#### Proof

The evidence offered in support of or in contravention of an allegation.

#### Prove

To verify (the result of a calculation).

#### Proof

The alcoholic strength of a liquor, expressed by a number that is twice the percentage by volume of alcohol present.

#### Prove

To subject (a gun, for instance) to a test.

#### Proof

A trial sheet of printed material that is made to be checked and corrected. Also called proof sheet.

#### Prove

(Printing) To make a sample impression of (type); proof.

#### Proof

A trial impression of a plate, stone, or block taken at any of various stages in engraving.

#### Prove

(Archaic) To find out or learn (something) through experience.

#### Proof

A trial photographic print.

#### Prove

To be shown to be such; turn out

A theory that proved impractical in practice.

A schedule that proved to be too demanding.

#### Proof

Any of a limited number of newly minted coins or medals struck as specimens and for collectors from a new die on a polished planchet.

#### Prove

(transitive) To demonstrate that something is true or viable; to give proof for.

I will prove that my method is more effective than yours.

#### Proof

(Archaic) Proven impenetrability

"I was clothed in Armor of proof" (John Bunyan).

#### Prove

(intransitive) To turn out; to manifest.

It proved to be a cold day.

#### Proof

Fully or successfully resistant; impervious. Often used in combination

Waterproof watches.

A fireproof cellar door.

#### Prove

(copulative) To turn out to be.

Have an exit strategy should your calculations prove incorrect.

#### Proof

Of standard alcoholic strength

Proof liquor.

#### Prove

(transitive) To put to the test, to make trial of.

They took the experimental car to the proving-grounds.

The exception proves the rule.

#### Proof

Used to proofread or correct typeset copy

A proof copy of the manuscript.

#### Prove

(transitive) To ascertain or establish the genuineness or validity of; to verify.

To prove a will

#### Proof

To make a trial impression of (printed or engraved matter).

#### Prove

To experience.

#### Proof

To proofread (copy).

#### Prove

To take a trial impression of; to take a proof of.

To prove a page

#### Proof

To activate (dormant dry yeast) by adding water.

#### Prove

(homeopathy) To determine by experiment which effects a substance causes when ingested.

#### Proof

To work (dough) into proper lightness.

#### Prove

(baking) The process of dough proofing.

#### Proof

To treat so as to make resistant

Proof a fabric against shrinkage.

#### Prove

To try or to ascertain by an experiment, or by a test or standard; to test; as, to prove the strength of gunpowder or of ordnance; to prove the contents of a vessel by a standard measure.

Thou hast proved mine heart.

#### Proof

(Printing) To proofread.

#### Prove

To evince, establish, or ascertain, as truth, reality, or fact, by argument, testimony, or other evidence.

They have inferred much from slender premises, and conjectured when they could not prove.

#### Proof

To become properly light for cooking

The batter proofed overnight.

#### Prove

To ascertain or establish the genuineness or validity of; to verify; as, to prove a will.

#### Proof

(countable) An effort, process, or operation designed to establish or discover a fact or truth; an act of testing; a test; a trial.

#### Prove

To gain experience of the good or evil of; to know by trial; to experience; to suffer.

Where she, captived long, great woes did prove.

#### Proof

(uncountable) The degree of evidence which convinces the mind of any truth or fact, and produces belief; a test by facts or arguments which induce, or tend to induce, certainty of the judgment; conclusive evidence; demonstration.

#### Prove

To test, evince, ascertain, or verify, as 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.

#### Proof

The quality or state of having been proved or tried; firmness or hardness which resists impression, or does not yield to force; impenetrability of physical bodies.

#### Prove

To take a trial impression of; to take a proof of; as, to prove a page.

#### Proof

(obsolete) Experience of something.

#### Prove

To make trial; to essay.

#### Proof

Firmness of mind; stability not to be shaken.

#### Prove

To be found by experience, trial, or result; to turn out to be; as, a medicine proves salutary; the report proves false.

So life a winter's morn may prove.

#### Proof

A proof sheet; a trial impression, as from type, taken for correction or examination.

#### Prove

To succeed; to turn out as expected.

#### Proof

(numismatics) A limited-run high-quality strike of a particular coin, originally as a test run, although nowadays mostly for collectors' sets.

#### Prove

Be shown or be found to be;

She proved to be right

The medicine turned out to save her life

She turned up HIV positive

#### Proof

A sequence of statements consisting of axioms, assumptions, statements already demonstrated in another proof, and statements that logically follow from previous statements in the sequence, and which concludes with a statement that is the object of the proof.

#### Prove

Establish the validity of something, as by an example, explanation or experiment;

The experiment demonstrated the instability of the compound

The mathematician showed the validity of the conjecture

#### Proof

A process for testing the accuracy of an operation performed. Compare prove, transitive verb, 5.

#### Prove

Provide evidence for;

The blood test showed that he was the father

Her behavior testified to her incompetence

#### Proof

(obsolete) Armour of excellent or tried quality, and deemed impenetrable; properly, armour of proof.

#### Prove

Prove formally; demonstrate by a mathematical, formal proof

#### Proof

(US) A measure of the alcohol content of liquor. Originally, in Britain, 100 proof was defined as 57.1% by volume (no longer used). In the US, 100 proof means that the alcohol content is 50% of the total volume of the liquid; thus, absolute alcohol would be 200 proof.

#### Prove

Put to the test, as for its quality, or give experimental use to;

This approach has been tried with good results

Test this recipe

#### Proof

Used in proving or testing.

A proof load; a proof charge

#### Prove

Increase in volume;

The dough rose slowly in the warm room

#### Proof

Firm or successful in resisting.

Proof against harm

Waterproof; bombproof

#### Prove

Cause to puff up with a leaven;

Unleavened bread

#### Proof

(of alcoholic liquors) Being of a certain standard as to alcohol content.

60% proof liquor

#### Prove

Take a trial impression of

#### Proof

To proofread.

#### Prove

Obtain probate of;

Prove a will

#### Proof

(transitive) To make resistant, especially to water.

#### Prove

To establish the truth or validity of something through evidence.

He worked hard to prove his theory.

#### Proof

To test-fire with a load considerably more powerful than the firearm in question's rated maximum chamber pressure, in order to establish the firearm's ability to withstand pressures well in excess of those expected in service without bursting.

#### Prove

To turn out to be.

The journey proved to be more challenging than anticipated.

#### Proof

To allow yeast-containing dough to rise.

#### Prove

To validate the authenticity of something.

The document was proved to be a genuine artifact from the 18th century.

#### Proof

To test the activeness of yeast.

#### Proof

Any effort, process, or operation designed to establish or discover a fact or truth; an act of testing; a test; a trial.

For whatsoever mother wit or artCould work, he put in proof.

You shall have many proofs to show your skill.

Formerly, a very rude mode of ascertaining the strength of spirits was practiced, called the proof.

#### Proof

That degree of evidence which convinces the mind of any truth or fact, and produces belief; a test by facts or arguments that induce, or tend to induce, certainty of the judgment; conclusive evidence; demonstration.

I'll have some proof.

It is no proof of a man's understanding to be able to confirm whatever he pleases.

#### Proof

The quality or state of having been proved or tried; firmness or hardness that resists impression, or does not yield to force; impenetrability of physical bodies.

#### Proof

Firmness of mind; stability not to be shaken.

#### Proof

A trial impression, as from type, taken for correction or examination; - called also proof sheet.

#### Proof

Armor of excellent or tried quality, and deemed impenetrable; properly, armor of proof.

#### Proof

Used in proving or testing; as, a proof load, or proof charge.

#### Proof

Firm or successful in resisting; as, proof against harm; waterproof; bombproof.

I . . . have found theeProof against all temptation.

This was a good, stout proof article of faith.

#### Proof

Being of a certain standard as to strength; - said of alcoholic liquors.

#### Proof

Any factual evidence that helps to establish the truth of something;

If you have any proof for what you say, now is the time to produce it

#### Proof

A formal series of statements showing that if one thing is true something else necessarily follows from it

#### Proof

A measure of alcoholic strength expressed as an integer twice the percentage of alcohol present (by volume)

#### Proof

(printing) an impression made to check for errors

#### Proof

A trial photographic print from a negative

#### Proof

The act of validating; finding or testing the truth of something

#### Proof

Make or take a proof of, such as a photographic negative, an etching, or typeset

#### Proof

Knead to reach proper lightness;

Proof dough

#### Proof

Read for errors;

I should proofread my manuscripts

#### Proof

Activate by mixing with water and sometimes sugar or milk;

Proof yeast

#### Proof

Make resistant to water, sound, errors, etc.;

Proof the materials against shrinking in the dryer

#### Proof

(used in combination or as a suffix) able to withstand;

Temptation-proof

Childproof locks

#### Proof

A measure of the strength of alcoholic beverages.

The whiskey is 80 proof, indicating it's 40% alcohol.

#### Proof

The quality or state of being resistant (e.g., waterproof).

This jacket is waterproof, providing proof against rain.

#### Proof

A trial print of something.

The author reviewed the first proof of her novel.

#### Proof

An act of testing something to ensure functionality or quality.

The company conducted a proof of the new software to check for bugs.

## FAQs

#### What is the primary grammatical difference between "proof" and "prove"?

"Proof" is a noun, while "prove" is a verb.

#### Can "proof" refer to alcohol content?

Yes, "proof" can indicate the strength of alcoholic beverages.

#### In mathematics, do "proof" and "prove" have specific roles?

Yes, a "proof" is a logical argument confirming a proposition, while to "prove" means to establish a theorem's truth.

#### If someone has "proof," what do they possess?

They possess evidence or validation supporting a particular fact or claim.

#### What does it mean to "prove oneself"?

It means to demonstrate one's abilities or worth in a particular context.

#### Can "proof" be a verb?

Yes, but it's less common. For example, in baking, to "proof" yeast means to let it ferment.

#### What action does "prove" describe?

"Prove" describes the act of establishing or demonstrating the truth or validity of something.

#### Can "prove" indicate the outcome of something?

Yes, for instance, a situation can "prove" to be beneficial or detrimental.

#### Which word is related to the act of testing or demonstrating?

Both can be, but "prove" typically relates to the action, while "proof" pertains to the evidence or result.

#### What might "prove" suggest in the context of personal growth?

It suggests the action of demonstrating growth, capability, or change.

#### Can both words be related to validation?

Yes, "proof" is the evidence of validation, and "prove" is the act of validating.

#### Can "prove" relate to subjecting something to a test?

Yes, you might "prove" a material to check its durability.

#### Is "proof" only used in legal contexts?

No, while "proof" is used in legal settings, it also has broader applications like measuring alcohol strength or indicating resistance.

#### Is "prove" used in expressions?

Yes, like "prove me wrong" or "prove your worth."

#### Can "proof" relate to printing?

Yes, a "proof" can be a trial print or preliminary version of printed material.

#### Can the words be used interchangeably?

No, they serve different grammatical functions and have distinct meanings.

#### How might "proof" be used in photography?

A "proof" might be a test print or a preliminary version of a photograph.

#### How is "proof" related to resistance or protection?

"Proof" can indicate the quality of being resistant, like being waterproof or fireproof.

#### If something "proves wrong," what does it mean?

It means that something turned out to be incorrect or not as assumed.

#### Which word, between "proof" and "prove," relates to the final evidence?

"Proof" typically refers to the final evidence or validation.

About Author

Written by

Janet WhiteJanet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

Edited by

Harlon MossHarlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.