[ 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 formspro·con·su·lar, adjectivepro·con·su·lar·ly, adverb

Definition for proconsul (2 of 2)


[ 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.

Origin of Proconsul

< 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for proconsul

British Dictionary definitions for proconsul


/ (prəʊˈkɒnsəl) /


an administrator or governor of a colony, occupied territory, or other dependency
(in ancient Rome) the governor of a senatorial province
Derived Formsproconsular (prəʊˈkɒnsjʊlə), adjectiveproconsulate or proconsulship, noun

Word Origin for proconsul

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

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