1. 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 art Could work, he put in proof. (Spenser) You shall have many proofs to show your skill. (Ford) Formerly, a very rude mode of ascertaining the strength of spirits was practiced, called the proof. (ure)
2. 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. (Shak) It is no proof of a man’s understanding to be able to confirm whatever he pleases. (Emerson)
Properly speaking, proof is the effect or result of evidence, evidence is the medium of proof. Cf. Demonstration.
3. 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.
4. Firmness of mind; stability not to be shaken.
5. A trial impression, as from type, taken for correction or examination; called also proof sheet.
6. (Science: mathematics) A process for testing the accuracy of an operation performed. Cf. Prove.
7. Armor of excellent or tried qualit
y, and deemed impenetrable; properly, armor of proof. Artist’s proof, a very early proof impression of an engraving, or the like; often distinguished by the artist’s signature. Proof reader, one who reads, and marks correction in, proofs. See def. 5, above.
Synonym: Testimony, evidence, reason, argument, trial, demonstration. See Testimony.
Origin: OF. Prove, proeve, F. Preuve, fr. L. Proba, fr. Probare to prove. See Prove.