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Provable vs. Probable: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on February 5, 2024
Provable means capable of being demonstrated as true or false through evidence or logic, whereas probable refers to the likelihood or chance of something happening.

Key Differences

Provable refers to something that can be shown to be true or false through evidence, logic, or argumentation. It's about the ability to establish the validity or falsity of a statement or hypothesis with certainty. The emphasis is on the availability of evidence or logical reasoning that conclusively supports a claim. On the other hand, probable concerns the likelihood or chance that something is true or will happen, without the necessity for conclusive proof. It's a measure of how plausible or expected an outcome is, based on evidence or statistical likelihood, but without the certainty that provable implies.
In terms of usage, provable is often applied in contexts where evidence and logic play a critical role, such as in science, law, and mathematics. It implies a level of rigor and objective assessment that leads to a definitive conclusion. Probable, however, is more commonly used in everyday language and situations where outcomes cannot be determined with certainty but have a high likelihood of occurring. It reflects a degree of uncertainty and is tied to the concept of probability.
The criteria for something being provable are significantly stricter than for something being probable. To prove something, one must provide a conclusive argument or evidence that leaves no room for doubt. In contrast, demonstrating that something is probable does not require eliminating all doubt but rather showing that there is a good reason to believe it is more likely than not.
Another difference lies in the perception of truth and certainty. Provable statements are either true or false, based on objective evidence or deductive reasoning. Probable statements, however, occupy a spectrum of likelihood, from highly unlikely to almost certain, without ever reaching the absolute certainty that comes with proof.
The nature of evidence differs significantly between what is provable and what is probable. Provable assertions rely on concrete, often empirical, evidence that can be independently verified. In contrast, the assessment of what is probable may depend on subjective judgments, including expert opinions or statistical models, which do not provide the same level of certainty.

Comparison Chart


Capable of being demonstrated as true or false.
Likely to happen or to be true.


Evidence, logic, or argumentation.
Statistical likelihood, evidence, or reasoning.


Absolute, with evidence or logic providing proof.
Relative, with a focus on likelihood.

Context of Use

Science, law, mathematics, where certainty is key.
Everyday language, where outcomes are uncertain.

Nature of Evidence

Concrete, empirical, verifiable.
Subjective, often based on expert opinions.

Provable and Probable Definitions


Subject to verification by empirical data or logic.
Her hypothesis is provable through extensive experimentation.


Supported by a preponderance of the evidence.
His promotion is probable given his excellent performance reviews.


Capable of being demonstrated as true through formal evidence.
The theorem's correctness is provable by mathematical induction.


Estimated to be likely based on current trends.
A probable increase in prices is expected due to inflation.


Susceptible to proof, leaving no room for doubt.
The existence of water on Mars is provable with current technology.


Reflecting a greater chance of occurrence than not.
It's probable that the team will win with their current lead.


Open to testing and confirmation by objective standards.
The effectiveness of the new drug is provable in clinical trials.


Likely to occur or be true.
It's probable that it will rain tomorrow.


Amenable to being shown valid through argumentation.
The guilt of the accused was provable by the collected evidence.


Having a high likelihood based on evidence.
Given the symptoms, a diagnosis of flu is probable.


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.


Likely to happen or to be true
War seemed probable in 1938. The home team, far ahead, is the probable winner.


To demonstrate the reality of (something)
He proved his strength by doing 50 pushups.


Likely but uncertain; plausible.


What does provable mean?

Capable of being demonstrated as true or false through evidence or logic.

Are scientific theories provable or probable?

Often considered probable, as they are supported by evidence but open to revision.

Can something be both provable and probable?

Yes, if it can be shown to be true with evidence (provable) and has a high likelihood (probable).

What does probable mean?

Likely to happen or to be true, based on evidence or reasoning.

How does one determine if something is provable?

By providing conclusive evidence or logical argumentation that leaves no room for doubt.

Is mathematical proof provable or probable?

Provable, as it relies on logical deduction to establish truth.

Is weather prediction provable or probable?

Probable, as it relies on models and data to forecast likely weather conditions.

Are historical events provable?

They can be considered provable when supported by substantial evidence, though interpretations may vary.

What role does evidence play in proving something?

Evidence is crucial for proving something, as it provides the foundation for establishing truth or falsity.

Can beliefs be probable?

Yes, beliefs can be considered probable if they are supported by a preponderance of evidence or reasoning.

Can a legal verdict be provable?

Verdicts are based on evidence that meets a legal standard, often "beyond a reasonable doubt," making them more provable in the legal context.

What makes a fact provable?

Concrete, verifiable evidence or indisputable logical reasoning.

Why is probability important?

It helps estimate the likelihood of future events, guiding decision-making under uncertainty.

What distinguishes provable from probable in science?

Provable refers to concepts that can be empirically verified, while probable assesses the likelihood of hypotheses based on current evidence.

What is the significance of probability in statistics?

Probability is fundamental in statistics, as it quantifies the likelihood of various outcomes in a data set.

How is probability assessed?

Through statistical analysis, evidence, and reasoning to evaluate likelihood.

Is everything provable also probable?

While provable facts are true, their probability may not always be relevant to their proof.

Can a hypothesis be provable?

A hypothesis can be provable if it can be tested and verified through experimentation or observation.

Is a prediction provable?

Predictions are generally considered probable, as they are estimations about future events based on current information.

How does one prove a theorem?

By using deductive reasoning and logical steps that lead to a conclusive proof.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet 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
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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