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  1. an administrative division or unit of a country.
  2. the provinces,
    1. the parts of a country outside of the capital or the largest cities.
    2. (in England) all parts of the country outside of London.
  3. a country, territory, district, or region.
  4. Geography. physiographic province.
  5. a department or branch of learning or activity: the province of mathematics.
  6. sphere or field of activity or authority, as of a person; office, function, or business: Such decisions do not lie within his province.
  7. a major subdivision of British India.
  8. an ecclesiastical territorial division, as that within which an archbishop or a metropolitan exercises jurisdiction.
  9. History/Historical.
    1. any of the North American colonies now forming major administrative divisions of Canada.
    2. any of certain colonies of Great Britain which are now part of the U.S.
  10. Roman History. a country or territory outside of Italy, brought under the ancient Roman dominion and administered by a governor sent from Rome.
  11. Mining. an individual mineral-producing area.

Origin of province

1300–50; Middle English < Middle French < Latin prōvincia province, official charge
Related formssub·prov·ince, noun
Can be confusedprovenance province

Synonyms for province

See more synonyms for on
5. area. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for province

Contemporary Examples of province

Historical Examples of province

British Dictionary definitions for province


  1. a territory governed as a unit of a country or empire
  2. a district, territory, or region
  3. the provinces (plural) those parts of a country lying outside the capital and other large cities and regarded as outside the mainstream of sophisticated culture
  4. ecology a subdivision of a region, characterized by a particular fauna and flora
  5. an area or branch of learning, activity, etc
  6. the field or extent of a person's activities or office
  7. RC Church Church of England an ecclesiastical territory, usually consisting of several dioceses, and having an archbishop or metropolitan at its head
  8. a major administrative and territorial subdivision of a religious order
  9. history a region of the Roman Empire outside Italy ruled by a governor from Rome

Word Origin for province

C14: from Old French, from Latin prōvincia conquered territory
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 province

early 14c., "country, territory, region," from Old French province "province, part of a country; administrative region for friars" (13c.) and directly from Latin provincia "territory outside Italy under Roman domination," also "a public office; public duty," of uncertain origin, usually explained as pro- "before" + vincere "to conquer" (see victor); but this does not suit the earliest Latin usages. Meaning "one's particular business or expertise" is from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper