• (America) IPA: /ˌpɹoʊˈbeɪʃən/


  1. A period of time when a person occupies a position only conditionally and may easily be removed for poor performance
    You'll be on probation for first six months. After that, if you work out, they'll hire you permanently.
  2. (legal) 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
    He got two years probation for robbery.
  3. (archaic) The act of testing; proof
    • 1661, Robert Boyle, The Sceptical Chymist, page 20,
      And I shall proceed to consider the testimony of Experience, when I shall have first advertis'd You, that if Men were as perfectly rational as 'tis to be wish'd they were, this sensible way of Probation would be as needless as 'tis wont to be imperfect.
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, lines 148-156,
      And then it started like a guilty thing / Upon a fearful summons. I have heard, / The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn, / Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat / Awake the god of day; and, at his warning, / Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air / The extravagant and erring spirit hies / To his confine: and of the truth herein / This present object made probation.
Related terms Translations
  • French: période d'essai
  • Portuguese: contrato de experiência, período de experiência
  • Russian: испыта́тельный срок

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