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[proh-kon-suh l] /proʊˈkɒn səl/
Roman History. an official, usually a former consul, who acted as governor or military commander of a province, and who had powers similar to those of a consul.
any appointed administrator over a dependency or an occupied area.
Origin of proconsul
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin prōconsul; see pro-1, consul
Related forms
proconsular, adjective
proconsularly, adverb


[proh-kon-suh l] /proʊˈkɒn səl/
an African subgenus of Dryopithecus that lived 17–20 million years ago and is possibly ancestral to modern hominoids.
< New Latin (1933), equivalent to pro- pro-1 + Consul, allegedly the name of a chimpanzee in a London zoo (with a pun on Latin prōconsul proconsul); the genus was thought to be ancestral to the chimpanzee Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for proconsul


an administrator or governor of a colony, occupied territory, or other dependency
(in ancient Rome) the governor of a senatorial province
Derived Forms
proconsular (prəʊˈkɒnsjʊlə) adjective
proconsulate, proconsulship, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin, from prō consule (someone acting) for the consul. See pro-², consul
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 proconsul

late 14c., "governor or military commander of an ancient Roman province," from Latin proconsul "governor of a province; military commander," from phrase pro consule "(acting) in place of a consul," from pro- "in place of" (see pro-) + ablative of consul. In modern use usually rhetorical, but it was a title of certain commissioners in the French Revolution, was used in English for "deputy consul," and was used again of U.S. administrators in Iraq during the occupation. Related: Proconsular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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