[prov-uh-nuh ns, -nahns]


place or source of origin: The provenance of the ancient manuscript has never been determined.

Nearby words

  1. prove,
  2. prove out,
  3. provection,
  4. provedore,
  5. proven,
  6. provencal,
  7. provence,
  8. provence rose,
  9. provender,
  10. provenience

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 confusedprovenance province Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for provenance

British Dictionary definitions for provenance


mainly US provenience (prəʊˈviːnɪəns)


a place of origin, esp that of a work of art or archaeological specimen

Word Origin for provenance

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

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