Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun prov·ince \ˈprä-vən(t)s\

Simple Definition of province

  • : any one of the large parts that some countries are divided into

  • : a subject or area of interest that a person knows about or is involved in

  • the provinces : the parts of a country that are away from large cities

Full Definition of province

  1. 1 a :  a country or region brought under the control of the ancient Roman government b :  an administrative district or division of a country c plural :  all of a country except the metropolises

  2. 2 a :  a division of a country forming the jurisdiction of an archbishop or metropolitan b :  a territorial unit of a religious order

  3. 3 a :  a biogeographic division of less rank than a region b :  an area that exhibits essential continuity of geological history; also :  one characterized by particular structural or petrological features

  4. 4 a :  proper or appropriate function or scope :  sphere <that question is outside my province> b :  a department of knowledge or activity

Examples of province

  1. They left the city for life in the provinces.

  2. <a legal question outside the doctor's province>

Origin of province

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin provincia

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of province

function, office, duty, province mean the acts or operations expected of a person or thing. function implies a definite end or purpose or a particular kind of work <the function of language is two-fold: to communicate emotion and to give information — Aldous Huxley>. office is typically applied to the function or service associated with a trade or profession or a special relationship to others <they exercise the offices of the judge, the priest, the counsellor — W. E. Gladstone>. duty applies to a task or responsibility imposed by one's occupation, rank, status, or calling <it is the judicial duty of the court, to examine the whole case — R. B. Taney>. province applies to a function, office, or duty that naturally or logically falls to one <I felt it was not my province to inquire — Anne Brontë>.

PROVINCE Defined for Kids


noun prov·ince \ˈprä-vəns\

Definition of province

  1. 1 :  a part of a country having a government of its own (as one of the divisions of Canada)

  2. 2 provinces plural :  the part or parts of a country far from the capital or chief city

  3. 3 :  an area of activity or authority <the province of science>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up province? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 16.96 pounds 100 pounds 2.2 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.