province

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Middle English provynce, from Anglo-Norman province, Middle French province, from Latin prōvincia(territory brought under Roman domination; official duty, office, charge, province), from Proto-Indo-European *prōw-(right judge, master). Cognate with Gothic 𐍆𐍂𐌰𐌿𐌾𐌰(frauja, lord, master), Old English frēa(ruler, lord, king, master). See also frow.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

province ‎(plural provinces)

  1. A region of the earth or of a continent; a district or country. [from 14th c.]
    • 1859, Cahrles Darwin, The Origin of Species:
      We should find, as we do find, some groups of beings greatly, and some only slightly modified […] in the different great geographical provinces of the world.
  2. An administrative subdivision of certain countries, including Canada and China. [from 14th c.]
    • 2016, The Guardian, 4 May:
      All of Fort McMurray, with the exception of Parson’s Creek, was under a mandatory evacuation order on Tuesday, said Robin Smith, press secretary for the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo in the Canadian province.
  3. (Roman history) An area outside Italy which is administered by a Roman governor. [from 14th c.]
    • 2008, Mark Brown, The Guardian, 28 November:
      He reminded his audience of events in 88BC, when the same Mithridates invaded the Roman province of Asia, on the western coast of Turkey.
  4. (Christianity) An area under the jurisdiction of an archbishop, typically comprising a number of adjacent dioceses. [from 14th c.]
    • 1838, The Churchman, p. 44:
      In 1309, neither the Archbishop of Canterbury nor his suffragans would attend in Parliament while the Archbishop of York had the cross borne erect before him in the province of Canterbury.
  5. (in the plural, chiefly with definite article) The parts of a country outside its capital city. [from 17th c.]
    • 1937, The Guardian, 1 April:
      To-day the first part of the new Indian Constitution comes into force with the granting of a large measure of autonomy to the provinces.
  6. An area of activity, responsibility; the proper concern of a particular person or concept. [from 17th c.]
    • 1984, Dorothee Sölle, The Strength of the Weak: Toward a Christian Feminist Identity, page 37:
      Just as money is the province of the economy and truth the province of science and scholarship, so love is the province of the family (Niklas Luhmann).

Usage notes[edit]

"Province" is the generic English term for such primary divisions of a country, but is not used where another official term has widespread use, such as France's regions and departments or America's states. "Territories" and "colonies" are sometimes distinguished from provinces as unorganized areas of low or foreign population, which are not considered an integral part of the country. Sovereign subdivisions of a larger whole, such as the principalities of the former Holy Roman Empire or the countries with the European Union, are likewise not usually described as provinces.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (principal subdivision of a state): circuit, tao, dao, route, lu (imperial and early Republican China)

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Coordinate terms[edit]

Translations[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin provincia.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

province f ‎(plural provinces)

  1. province
  2. the French regions (other than the Parisian region), provincial France

Related terms[edit]

External links[edit]


Italian[edit]

Noun[edit]

province f pl

  1. plural of provincia

Synonyms[edit]


Middle French[edit]

Noun[edit]

province f (plural provinces)

  1. province (subdivision of a territory)
    • 15th century, Rustichello da Pisa (original author), Mazarine Master (scribe), The Travels of Marco Polo, page 14:
      Elle est moult grant province.
      It is a big province.

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]

  • province on Dictionnaire du Moyen Français (1330-1500) (in French)

Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

province f ‎(oblique plural provinces, nominative singular province, nominative plural provinces)

  1. province (subdivision of a territory)

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]