proven (comparative more proven, superlative most proven)
- Having been proved; having proved its value or truth.
- It's a proven fact that morphine is a more effective painkiller than acetaminophen is.
- Mass lexical comparison is not a proven method for demonstrating relationships between languages.
- (often discouraged) past participle of prove
As the past participle of prove, proven is often discouraged, with proved preferred – “have proved” rather than “have proven”. However, they are both used about equally in everyday use.
Historically, proved is the older form, while proven arose as a Scottish variant – see etymology. Used in legal writing from the mid-17th century, it entered literary usage more slowly, only becoming significant in the 19th century, with the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson among the earliest frequent users (presumably for reasons of meter). In the 19th century, proven was widely discouraged, and remained significantly less common through the mid-20th century (proved being used approximately four times as often); by the late 20th century it came to be used about equally.
As an attributive adjective, proven is much more commonly used, and proved is widely considered an error – “a proven method”, not *“a proved method”.
1 2 3 4 5 “prove” in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.
1 2 3 4 5 “prove” in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Online.
- third-person plural present indicative form of provar
- Plural form of prove
- second-person singular imperative of provir