Definition of probative in US English:



  • Having the quality or function of proving or demonstrating something; affording proof or evidence.

    ‘it places the probative burden on the defendant’
    • ‘The judge must determine the probative value of the evidence by assessing its tendency to prove a fact in issue in the case including the credibility of witness.’
    • ‘All of this proceeds on the basis that hearsay evidence is probative and, therefore, relevant.’
    • ‘It is evidence directly probative of the fact that they were accomplices.’
    • ‘Such evidence can have sufficient probative force to make it just to admit it even though, taken by itself, it would not be sufficient to prove guilt.’
    • ‘This concern does not arise in a trial by judge alone such that the probative value of the evidence is outweighed by its prejudicial effect.’


Late Middle English (describing something that serves as a test): from Latin probativus, from probat- ‘proved’, from the verb probare (see prove).