Why was "tantrum" trending last week?


[prov-ins] /ˈprɒv ɪns/
an administrative division or unit of a country.
the provinces.
  1. the parts of a country outside of the capital or the largest cities.
  2. (in England) all parts of the country outside of London.
a country, territory, district, or region.
a department or branch of learning or activity:
the province of mathematics.
sphere or field of activity or authority, as of a person; office, function, or business:
Such decisions do not lie within his province.
a major subdivision of British India.
an ecclesiastical territorial division, as that within which an archbishop or a metropolitan exercises jurisdiction.
  1. any of the North American colonies now forming major administrative divisions of Canada.
  2. any of certain colonies of Great Britain which are now part of the U.S.
Roman History. a country or territory outside of Italy, brought under the ancient Roman dominion and administered by a governor sent from Rome.
Mining. an individual mineral-producing area.
1300-50; Middle English < Middle French < Latin prōvincia province, official charge
Related forms
subprovince, noun
Can be confused
provenance, province.
5. area. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for provinces
  • Fear of missing their targets led some provinces to severely ration power in the latter half of last year.
  • They also struggle with factories, both legal and illegal in the surrounding environments and surrounding provinces.
  • The rebels had ravaged sixteen of the eighteen provinces, and had destroyed six hundred cities.
  • And keep these limbs, her provinces, from dissolution.
  • The iniquity was that some provinces had to pay twice as much as others.
  • Most of the workers had come from the provinces, because their families back home needed money.
  • Some leaders lose control over their territory and cling to their capitals while warlords rule the provinces.
  • By shifting the financing burden for deficit spending to the provinces, the central government has been able to improve its books.
  • First, the government has imposed windfall taxes on exports which are not shared with the provinces.
  • Business chafes at the manifold non-tariff barriers that hinder trade among the country's ten provinces and three territories.
British Dictionary definitions for provinces


a territory governed as a unit of a country or empire
a district, territory, or region
(pl) the provinces, those parts of a country lying outside the capital and other large cities and regarded as outside the mainstream of sophisticated culture
(ecology) a subdivision of a region, characterized by a particular fauna and flora
an area or branch of learning, activity, etc
the field or extent of a person's activities or office
(RC Church, Church of England) an ecclesiastical territory, usually consisting of several dioceses, and having an archbishop or metropolitan at its head
a major administrative and territorial subdivision of a religious order
(history) a region of the Roman Empire outside Italy ruled by a governor from Rome
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin prōvincia conquered territory
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for provinces



early 14c., "country, territory, region," from Old French province "province, part of a country; administrative region for friars" (13c.) and directly from Latin provincia "territory outside Italy under Roman domination," also "a public office; public duty," of uncertain origin, usually explained as pro- "before" + vincere "to conquer" (see victor); but this does not suit the earliest Latin usages. Meaning "one's particular business or expertise" is from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for provinces


in Roman antiquity, a territorial subdivision of the Roman Empire-specifically, the sphere of action and authority of a Roman magistrate who held the imperium, or executive power. The name was at first applied to territories both in Italy and wherever else a Roman official exercised authority in the name of the Roman state. Later the name implied Roman possessions outside Italy from which tribute was required

Learn more about province with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for province

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for provinces

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with provinces