[ proh-vohst, prov-uhst or, especially in military usage, proh-voh ]
See synonyms for provost on
  1. a person appointed to superintend or preside.

  2. an administrative officer in any of various colleges and universities who holds high rank and is concerned with the curriculum, faculty appointments, etc.

  1. Ecclesiastical. the chief dignitary of a cathedral or collegiate church.

  2. the steward or bailiff of a medieval manor or an officer of a medieval administrative district.

  3. the mayor of a municipality in Scotland.

  4. Obsolete. a prison warden.

Origin of provost

before 900; Middle English; Old English profost<Medieval Latin prōpositus abbot, prior, provost, literally, (one) placed before, Latin: past participle of prōpōnere.See pro-1, posit

Other words from provost

  • pro·vost·ship, noun

Words Nearby provost Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use provost in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for provost


/ (ˈprɒvəst) /

  1. an appointed person who superintends or presides

  2. the head of certain university colleges or schools

  1. (in Scotland) the chairman and civic head of certain district councils or (formerly) of a burgh council: Compare convener (def. 2)

  2. Church of England the senior dignitary of one of the more recent cathedral foundations

  3. RC Church

    • the head of a cathedral chapter in England and some other countries

    • (formerly) the member of a monastic community second in authority under the abbot

  4. (in medieval times) an overseer, steward, or bailiff in a manor

  5. obsolete a prison warder

  6. (prəˈvəʊ) British and Canadian military a military policeman

Origin of provost

Old English profost, from Medieval Latin prōpositus placed at the head (of), from Latin praepōnere to place first, from prae- before + pōnere to put

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