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[prov-uh-nuh ns, -nahns]
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  1. place or source of origin: The provenance of the ancient manuscript has never been determined.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for provenance


mainly US provenience (prəʊˈviːnɪəns)

  1. a place of origin, esp that of a work of art or archaeological specimen
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Word Origin

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper