Definition of province in English:


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  • 1A principal administrative division of certain countries or empires.

    ‘Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province’
    • ‘That country is made up of three old Ottoman Empire provinces and they do have secessionist tendencies.’
    • ‘The train is intended to ease congestion caused by more than 300 000 cars a day travelling between the province's two principal cities.’
    • ‘Although there are provincial divisions, provinces tend to identify with one another by region.’
    • ‘There is fear that division of the province will ultimately see a dramatic increase in the numbers of military personnel stationed in the contested territory.’
    • ‘The school is in a poor district of the province and students often go without the simplest of items, let alone educational funds.’
    • ‘Incidentally, alderman is an ancient title of rank, dating back beyond the Norman Conquest, indicating someone ruling a province or district.’
    • ‘More than 100,0000 pamphlets backing the strike call are being distributed to the provinces ' 50,000 teachers.’
    • ‘Engcobo is also one of the poorest districts in the province with 76 percent of the population living below the poverty line.’
    • ‘Fears among the Protestant community of Northern Ireland that it may be on the verge of losing its majority in the province have been eased in the light of the results of the 2001 Census.’
    • ‘Up until 1830 Algeria was an autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire.’
    • ‘To get to oil, diamond and gold rich provinces and districts in most countries of the world, one requires permission and a pass for the visit.’
    • ‘During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries AD, the region was administered as a province of the Mogul Empire.’
    • ‘It's time to create a country for the county, for the district, for the province, and step by step create the normal civilian life for them.’
    • ‘Authorities in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan say most of the province's 26 districts are suffering from severe famine as a result of the drought.’
    • ‘The civil administration of the empire was divided into provinces, each administered by a governor.’
    • ‘For more than 400 years, Bosnia was an important province of the Ottoman Empire.’
    • ‘DARIUS I instituted a major reorganization of the administration and finances of the empire, establishing twenty provinces ruled by Satraps.’
    • ‘Transylvania and eastern Hungary became autonomous provinces of the Ottoman empire.’
    • ‘In the early nineteenth century, Egypt was formed as a centralized state out of a province of the Ottoman Empire.’
    territory, region, state, department, canton, area, district, sector, zone, division, administrative area, administrative district, administrative division, administrative unit
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    1. 1.1Christian Church A district under an archbishop or a metropolitan.
      ‘The American Church is the wealthiest of all 38 Anglican provinces, and dioceses such as Liberia are almost entirely dependent on its support.’
      • ‘Along with the Diocese of Ferns and Ossory it is part of the Dublin province with the Archbishop of Dublin as its metropolitan.’
      • ‘Bishop Packer will act as chief consecrator on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Metropolitan of the province.’
      • ‘How has the Lambeth decision affected the Anglican provinces around the world?’
      • ‘The seven new shared schools are to be built in the ecclesiastical province of Glasgow, which comprises the three dioceses of Glasgow, Motherwell and Paisley.’
    2. 1.2Roman History A territory outside Italy under a Roman governor.
      ‘Then in 61-60 he served as governor of the Roman province of Further Spain.’
      • ‘His provincial command included the Roman province of southern Gaul.’
      • ‘The Romans named the province Dalmatia after the largest and bravest of the tribes living on the coast.’
      • ‘His long and fierce campaign against the Dacians brought the Dacian province into the Roman sphere.’
      • ‘The eastern provinces of the former Roman Empire had always outnumbered those in the west.’
  • 2the provincesBritish The whole of a country outside the capital, especially when regarded as lacking in sophistication or culture.

    ‘I made my way home to the dreary provinces by train’
    • ‘The overwhelming majority of its members are women from the provinces, that is outside the National Capital District.’
    • ‘He issued a decree appealing to his ministers in the capital and in the provinces to publicize his reform edicts, in the hope that Chinese public opinion would rally to his support.’
    • ‘Liberal and democratic periodicals flourished both in the capital and the provinces.’
    • ‘Numbers vary from 9,000 to 80,000, 98 per cent of whom descend on the capital from the provinces.’
    • ‘The improvement in the roads led to the rise of bus services from the provinces to the capital, thereby aiding the migration of the rural population into Bangkok.’
    • ‘It did not distribute money to the provinces, which had their own arts budgets.’
    non-metropolitan areas, non-metropolitan counties, the rest of the country, middle America, middle England, rural areas, rural districts, the countryside, the backwoods, the wilds, the wilderness, the back of beyond
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  • 3one's provinceAn area of special knowledge, interest, or responsibility.

    ‘she knew little about wine—that had been her father's province’
    • ‘To my fancy he was making a great fuss about nothing, but it was not my province to say so.’
    • ‘Mr Holloway said it was not his province to decide on his own jurisdiction; he could enquire into it, but only make an observation.’
    area of responsibility, area of activity, area of interest, area of knowledge, area, department, responsibility, sphere, world, realm, field, discipline, domain, territory, orbit, preserve, business, affair, line of business, line, speciality, forte, charge, concern, worry, duty, jurisdiction, authority
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/ˈpräv(ə)ns/ /ˈprɑv(ə)ns/


Late Middle English from Old French, from Latin provincia ‘charge, province’, of uncertain ultimate origin.