See also: Province

English edit

 
Canada's Atlantic provinces
 
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Etymology edit

From Middle English provynce, from Anglo-Norman province, Old French province, from Latin prōvincia (territory brought under Roman domination; official duty, office, charge, province), from Proto-Indo-European *prōw- (right judge, master). Cognate with Gothic 𐍆𐍂𐌰𐌿𐌾𐌰 (frauja, lord, master), Old English frēa (ruler, lord, king, master). Replaced Old English boldġetæl. See also frow.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

province (plural provinces)

  1. A region of the earth or of a continent; a district or country. [from 14th c.]
  2. An administrative subdivision of certain countries, including Canada and China. [from 14th c.]
    • 1798 October 20 [1797], “CALCULATIONS OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE GLOBE.”, in The Rural Magazine[1], volume I, number 36, Newark, →OCLC, page 2, column 1:
      Chowta-Zhin, who is ſaid to be a man of buſineſs and preciſion, and cautious of advancing facts, at the requeſt of Earl Macartney, delivered to him a ſtatement taken from one of the public officers in the capitol, of the inhabitants of the fifteen ancient provinces of China, or China proper, within the great wall ; according to which the number of inhabitants, taken by a regular enumeration, amounts to 333,000,000!
    • 1911 October 16 [1911 October 15], “CENSOR STOPS REVOLT NEWS.; Troops Moving South, but Number Concealed -- Train Service Reduced.”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2023-08-12, page 6‎[3]:
      The telegraph administration refuses to transmit messages either to or from the Provinces of Hu-Peh, Hu-Nan, Kiang-Si, Sze-Chuan, Kwei-Chow, and Yu-Nan[sic – meaning Yun-Nan].
    • 1957, Chung-cheng (Kai-shek) Chiang, “China's Struggle Against Communism: Gains and Losses”, in Soviet Russia in China: A Summing-up at Seventy[4], New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, →LCCN, →OCLC, page 236:
      After the Hsuchow-Pengpu Battle,* with the exception of the battles fought on Tengpu Island and Kinmen Island,** Government troops put up no determined fight, and, as a result, province after province on the mainland fell into Communist hands.
    • 2016 May 4, The Guardian:
      All of Fort McMurray, with the exception of Parson’s Creek, was under a mandatory evacuation order on Tuesday, said Robin Smith, press secretary for the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo in the Canadian province [of Alberta].
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:province.
  3. (historical, Ancient Rome, Roman Empire) An area outside Italy which is administered by a Roman governor or prefect. [from 14th c.]
    Synonym: eparchy (formal equivalent to Latin prōvincia in Greek-speaking Eastern Roman Empire)
    • 2008 November 28, Mark Brown, The Guardian:
      He reminded his audience of events in 88BC, when the same Mithridates invaded the Roman province of Asia, on the western coast of Turkey.
  4. (Christianity) An area under the jurisdiction of an archbishop, typically comprising a number of adjacent dioceses. [from 14th c.]
    • 1838, The Churchman, page 44:
      In 1309, neither the Archbishop of Canterbury nor his suffragans would attend in Parliament while the Archbishop of York had the cross borne erect before him in the province of Canterbury.
  5. (Roman Catholicism) An area under the jurisdiction of a provincial within a monastic order.
  6. (in the plural, chiefly with definite article) The parts of a country outside its capital city. [from 17th c.]
    • 1937 April 1, The Guardian:
      To-day the first part of the new Indian Constitution comes into force with the granting of a large measure of autonomy to the provinces.
    • 2023 February 7, Yauhen Lehalau, “'I Couldn't Just Stand By': Russian Fighters Explain Why They Took Up Arms Against The Kremlin”, in Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty[5]:
      "What are the Russian provinces?" he said. "Dirt, ruins, poverty, drunkenness. That is what we need to be working on, rather than expanding our prison to include Georgia, Ukraine, the Baltic states, and Belarus. That is the kind of Russian nationalist that I am…. There is no sense in using force to hold people that don’t want to be with you."
  7. An area of activity, responsibility or knowledge; the proper concern of a particular person or concept. [from 17th c.]
    • 1941 February, “Notes and News: Women on Soviet Railways”, in Railway Magazine, page 82:
      More than half a million women are now employed on the railways of the Soviet Union, and some of them perform such duties as those of engine drivers and stationmasters, formerly considered the sole province of men.
    • 1984, Dorothee Sölle, The Strength of the Weak: Toward a Christian Feminist Identity, page 37:
      Just as money is the province of the economy and truth the province of science and scholarship, so love is the province of the family (Niklas Luhmann).

Usage notes edit

Province is the generic English term for such primary divisions of a country, but is not used where another official term has widespread use, such as France's regions and departments, Switzerland's cantons, or the United States of America's and Australia's states. Territories and colonies are sometimes distinguished from provinces as unorganized areas of low or foreign population, which are not considered an integral part of the country. Sovereign subdivisions of a larger whole, such as the principalities of the former Holy Roman Empire or the countries within the European Union, are likewise not usually described as provinces.

Synonyms edit

  • (principal subdivision of a state): circuit, tao, dao, route, lu (imperial and early Republican China)

Coordinate terms edit

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Descendants edit

  • Tok Pisin: provins

Translations edit

Further reading edit

French edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from Latin prōvincia. Doublet of Provence.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

province f (plural provinces)

  1. province
  2. (Paris region) the countryside; or more broadly, the rest of France. Note: This term can be perceived as pejorative by the people coming from the said regions.[1]

Related terms edit

References edit

Further reading edit

Italian edit

Noun edit

province f pl

  1. plural of provincia

Synonyms edit

Middle English edit

Noun edit

province

  1. Alternative form of provynce

Middle French edit

Noun edit

province f (plural provinces)

  1. province (subdivision of a territory)
    • 15th century, Rustichello da Pisa (original author), Mazarine Master (scribe), The Travels of Marco Polo, page 14:
      Elle est moult grant province.
      It is a big province.

Descendants edit

References edit

  • province on Dictionnaire du Moyen Français (1330–1500) (in French)

Old French edit

Alternative forms edit

Noun edit

province oblique singularf (oblique plural provinces, nominative singular province, nominative plural provinces)

  1. province (subdivision of a territory)

Descendants edit

References edit

Walloon edit

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

province f (plural provinces)

  1. province