[ pruh-vin-shuh-liz-uh m ]
/ prəˈvɪn ʃəˌlɪz əm /


narrowness of mind, ignorance, or the like, considered as resulting from lack of exposure to cultural or intellectual activity.
a trait, habit of thought, etc., characteristic of a provincial, a province, or the provinces.
a word, expression, or mode of pronunciation peculiar to a province.
devotion to one's own province before the nation as a whole.

Nearby words

  1. provincetown print,
  2. provincewide,
  3. provincial,
  4. provincial council,
  5. provincial police,
  6. provincialist,
  7. provinciality,
  8. provincialize,
  9. proving ground,
  10. provirus

Origin of provincialism

First recorded in 1760–70; provincial + -ism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for provincialism

British Dictionary definitions for provincialism


/ (prəˈvɪnʃəˌlɪzəm) /


narrowness of mind or outlook; lack of sophistication
a word or attitude characteristic of a provincial
attention to the affairs of one's province rather than the whole nation
the state or quality of being provincial
Also: localism

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 provincialism



1820 in the political sense, "local attachment as opposed to national unity," from provincial + -ism. Meaning "manners or modes of a certain province or of provinces generally" (as opposed to the big city or capital) is from 1836. Sense of "a local word or usage or expression" is from 1770.

PROVINCIALISM consists in:
(a) An ignorance of the manners, customs and nature of people living outside one's own village, parish, or nation.
(b) A desire to coerce others into uniformity.
[Ezra Pound, "Provincialism the Enemy," 1917]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper