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[prov-uh-nuh ns, -nahns] /ˈprɒv ə nəns, -ˌnɑns/
place or source of origin:
The provenance of the ancient manuscript has never been determined.
Origin of provenance
1860-65; < French, derivative of provenant, present participle of provenir < Latin prōvenīre to come forth; see pro-1, convene, -ant
Can be confused
provenance, province. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for provenance
  • As the provenance of antiquities and artworks is questioned, so is the provenance of dealers themselves.
  • But the provenance of the cells is the source of their controversy.
  • The artifact's lack of provenance had always been a red flag to many scholars.
  • Trust and provenance as new factors for information retrieval in a tangled web.
  • By chance do you know the provenance for this diamond.
  • It was a puzzling declaration with an even more puzzling provenance.
  • But the wines that win the best prices at auction are those whose provenance is certain.
  • But questions about its provenance have shadowed it ever since.
  • As to the friction over the provenance of information sources some things come to mind.
  • So being able to verify the accuracy and provenance of material is vital, he says.
British Dictionary definitions for provenance


a place of origin, esp that of a work of art or archaeological specimen
Word Origin
C19: from French, from provenir, from Latin prōvenīre to originate, from venīre to come
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
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Word Origin and History for provenance

1785, from French provenance "origin, production," from provenant, present participle of Middle French provenir "come forth, arise, originate," from Latin provenire "come forth, originate, appear, arise," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + venire "come" (see venue).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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