from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A process or period in which a person's fitness, as for work or membership in a social group, is tested.
  • n. Law The act of suspending the sentence of a person convicted of a criminal offense and granting that person provisional freedom on the promise of good behavior.
  • n. A discharge for a person from commitment as an insane person on condition of continued sanity and of being recommitted upon the reappearance of insanity.
  • n. A trial period in which a student is given time to try to redeem failing grades or bad conduct.
  • n. The status of a person on probation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A period of time when a person occupies a position only conditionally and may easily be removed for poor performance
  • n. A type of sentence where convicted criminals are allowed to continue living in the community but will automatically be sent to jail if they violate certain conditions
  • n. The act of testing; proof

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of proving; also, that which proves anything; proof.
  • n. Any proceeding designed to ascertain truth, to determine character, qualification, etc.; examination; trial.
  • n. The novitiate which a person must pass in a convent, to probe his or her virtue and ability to bear the severities of the rule.
  • n. The trial of a ministerial candidate's qualifications prior to his ordination, or to his settlement as a pastor.
  • n. Moral trial; the state of man in the present life, in which he has the opportunity of proving his character, and becoming qualified for a happier state.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of proving; proof.
  • n. Any proceeding designed to ascertain truth, character, qualifications, or the like; trial; examination.
  • n. Specifically — Eccles., the trial of a candidate for church membership, holy orders, or other ecclesiastical position and functions, preparatory to his final admission thereto.
  • n. In theology, moral trial; a state of life affording an opportunity to test moral character.
  • n. Any period of trial.
  • n. In the Meth. Epis. Ch., a period, usually six months, at the end of which a candidate for admission to the church determines whether he will unite with the church, and the church decides whether he should be admitted to membership.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a trial period during which your character and abilities are tested to see whether you are suitable for work or for membership
  • n. (law) a way of dealing with offenders without imprisoning them; a defendant found guilty of a crime is released by the court without imprisonment subject to conditions imposed by the court
  • n. a trial period during which an offender has time to redeem himself or herself


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English probacion, a testing, from Old French probation, from Latin probātiō, probātiōn-, from probātus, past participle of probāre, to test; see prove.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French probation, from Latin probatio ("a trying, inspection, examination"), from probare, past participle probatus ("to test, examine"); see probate, probe, prove.


  • He even abolished the system whereby the police controlled prisoners once they were released and introduced what we call the probation system where an independent probation service, a non-police service, supervises the prisoners.

    Churchill: A Life

  • "House arrest and two year's probation is pretty light," the

    Roy J scott

  • I called my probation officer and alerted him that I would be heading to Florida.

    Naked Truth

  • It will also put the university in probation with their accrediting body.

    Matthew Yglesias » What To Do With Big Endowments

  • In 2004, he was sentenced 10 years in prison in Texas for violating terms of his probation from a 2001 burglary conviction.

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  • They all involve misdemeanor charges that resulted in probation, and in each case the probation was served and the case closed many years ago — and in some cases many decades ago.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » I Beg Your Pardon:

  • PENALTY: Time served (= two weeks to two and a half weeks) if one-year probation is successfully completed; if not, who knows (but I would suppose the felony charge of malicious wounding would be reinstated, and the case would proceed with the defendant’s admission of guilt already in hand); payment of restitution for victims’ medical costs; and cooperation in the prosecution of others.

    6 CHS-UVa Attackers Plead Guilty at

  • However, he was convicted in 2001, spent a year in jail on a heroin charge, was out on a parole kind of situation they refer to as probation here in Florida.

    CNN Transcript Feb 8, 2004

  • “Invisibly we float into the houses of men where children are, and for every day on which we find a good child that brings joy to its parents and deserves their love, our time of probation is shortened.

    The Little Sea-Maid

  • God's enemies are regarded by the saints as their enemies, and when the day of probation is past, their mind shall be so entirely one with God's, that they shall rejoice in witnessing visibly the judicial vindication of God's righteousness in sinners 'punishment.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible


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