province

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See also: Province

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From 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.]
  2. An administrative subdivision of certain countries, including Canada and China. [from 14th c.]
    • 1798 October 20 [1797], “CALCULATIONS OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE GLOBE.”, in The Rural Magazine[1], volume I, number 36, Newark, OCLC 1073346974, page 2:
      Chowta-Zhin, who is ſaid to be a man of buſineſs and preciſion, and cautious of advancing facts, at the requeſt of Earl Macartney, delivered to him a ſtatement taken from one of the public officers in the capitol, of the inhabitants of the fifteen ancient provinces of China, or China proper, within the great wall ; according to which the number of inhabitants, taken by a regular enumeration, amounts to 333,000,000!
    • 1957, Chiang, Chung-cheng (Kai-shek), “China's Struggle Against Communism: Gains and Losses”, in Soviet Russia in China: A Summing-up at Seventy[2], New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, LCCN 57010316, OCLC 955026629, page 236:
      After the Hsuchow-Pengpu Battle,* with the exception of the battles fought on Tengpu Island and Kinmen Island,** Government troops put up no determined fight, and, as a result, province after province on the mainland fell into Communist hands.
    • 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 [of Alberta].
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations: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. (Roman Catholicism) An area under the jurisdiction of a provincial within a monastic order.
  6. (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.
  7. An area of activity, responsibility or knowledge; the proper concern of a particular person or concept. [from 17th c.]
    • 1941 February, “Notes and News: Women on Soviet Railways”, in Railway Magazine, page 82:
      More than half a million women are now employed on the railways of the Soviet Union, and some of them perform such duties as those of engine drivers and stationmasters, formerly considered the sole province of men.
    • 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, Switzerland's cantons, or America's and Australia'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)

Coordinate terms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Tok Pisin: provins

Translations[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin prōvincia. Doublet of Provence.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

province f (plural provinces)

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

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Italian[edit]

Noun[edit]

province f pl

  1. plural of provincia

Synonyms[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Noun[edit]

province

  1. Alternative form of provynce

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]


Walloon[edit]

Noun[edit]

province f (plural provinces)

  1. province