Pro*ba"tion (?), n. [L. probatio, fr. probare to try, examine, prove: cf. F. probation. See Prove.]
The act of proving; also, that which proves anything; proof.
When by miracle God dispensed great gifts to the laity, . . . he gave probation that he intended that all should prophesy and preach.
Any proceeding designed to ascertain truth, to determine character, qualification, etc.; examination; trial; as, to engage a person on probation. Hence, specifically: (a) 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. (b) The trial of a ministerial candidate's qualifications prior to his ordination, or to his settlement as a pastor. (c) 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.
No [view of human life] seems so reasonable as that which regards it as a state of probation.
© Webster 1913.