9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pruh-vin-shuh l] /prəˈvɪn ʃəl/
belonging or peculiar to some particular province; local:
the provincial newspaper.
of or relating to the provinces:
provincial customs; provincial dress.
having or showing the manners, viewpoints, etc., considered characteristic of unsophisticated inhabitants of a province; rustic; narrow or illiberal; parochial:
a provincial point of view.
(often initial capital letter) Fine Arts. noting or pertaining to the styles of architecture, furniture, etc., found in the provinces, especially when imitating styles currently or formerly in fashion in or around the capital:
Italian Provincial.
History/Historical. of or relating to any of the American provinces of Great Britain.
a person who lives in or comes from the provinces.
a person who lacks urban sophistication or broad-mindedness.
  1. the head of an ecclesiastical province.
  2. a member of a religious order presiding over the order in a given district or province.
Origin of provincial
1300-50; Middle English (noun and adj.) < Latin prōvinciālis. See province, -al1
Related forms
provincially, adverb
interprovincial, adjective
nonprovincial, adjective
nonprovincially, adverb
quasi-provincial, adjective
quasi-provincially, adverb
semiprovincial, adjective
semiprovincially, adverb
subprovincial, adjective, noun
unprovincial, adjective
unprovincially, adverb
Can be confused
providential, provincial.
3. rural, small-town. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for provincial
  • It was also something about the particular nature of the characters-they are fairly provincial and limited.
  • Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, provincial, state and local laws and regulations.
  • Further, big oil exercises far too much influence over our provincial and federal governments.
  • There are local provincial governments that are in the business of making rugs.
  • The idea that there is one is at best wishful thinking, and at base a provincial conceit, a delusion rather than a policy.
  • If there is a discrepancy, the provincial government has the authority to amend municipal decisions.
  • The provincial governance is weak and does not interact with the public regularly.
  • At best this sort of exercise is a cute and provincial expression of conceit.
  • And how provincial is the exception made for popular books on mathematically-based sciences.
  • He did not talk of race or kindle the flames of provincial pride.
British Dictionary definitions for provincial


of or connected with a province
characteristic of or connected with the provinces; local
having attitudes and opinions supposedly common to people living in the provinces; rustic or unsophisticated; limited
(NZ) denoting a football team representing a province, one of the historical administrative areas of New Zealand
a person lacking the sophistications of city life; rustic or narrow-minded individual
a person coming from or resident in a province or the provinces
the head of an ecclesiastical province
the head of a major territorial subdivision of a religious order
Derived Forms
provinciality (prəˌvɪnʃɪˈælɪtɪ) noun
provincially, adverb
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 provincial

late 14c., "pertaining to a province," from Old French provincial "belonging to a particular province (of friars)" (13c.), from Latin provincialis "of a province," from provincia (see province).

Meaning "of the small towns and countryside" (as opposed to the capital and urban center) is from 1630s, a borrowed idiom from French, transferred from sense of "particular to the province," hence "local." Suggestive of rude, petty, or narrow society by 1755. Classical Latin provincialis seems not to have had this tinge. In British use, with reference to the American colonies, from 1680s.


late 14c., "ecclesiastical head of a province," from provincial (adj.). From c.1600 as "native or inhabitant of a province;" from 1711 as "country person."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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