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[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.
Origin of province
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.
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Examples from the web for province
  • The province also has three private universities, five private colleges, and six theological colleges.
  • Performance issues are primarily the province of the licensing boards, not the colleges.
  • Don't forget to swot up the history of the particular province you're in.
  • Surely some matters such as religious belief are not the province of science.
  • The normal outcome is the province of science, which does not overlap with the miraculous, which it might call an outlier.
  • These ideas, once the sole province of fiction writers, face real tests in a new generation of experiments.
  • With cars and motorcycles banned, it's now the province of hikers, mountain bikers and wildlife.
  • Such questions make their advisers in the province blanch.
  • And as low-margin exporters leave the region, the province is starting to move up the value chain.
  • But new research indicates that punishing those who break social norms is not merely the province of poets.
British Dictionary definitions for province


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
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Word Origin and History for province

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
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