provenance

noun
prov·​e·​nance | \ ˈpräv-nən(t)s How to pronounce provenance (audio) , ˈprä-və-ˌnän(t)s\

Definition of provenance

1 : origin, source
2 : the history of ownership of a valued object or work of art or literature

Examples of provenance in a Sentence

Has anyone traced the provenances of these paintings? The artifact is of unknown provenance.

Recent Examples on the Web

At that time, the gallery owner recognized the artwork as the same painting that had been brought to him in 1989 by an unidentified man, who also had no provenance or proof of ownership, and with whom the gallery owner also declined to do business. William K. Rashbaum, New York Times, "Twisted Tale of Stolen Chagall Nears Ending," 12 Apr. 2018 And beyond its European provenance and its color, the other thing that makes mayonnaise the perfect signifier for whiteness is its ubiquity. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "In Defense of Mayonnaise," 4 July 2019 And a swap can be a better place than the typical plant shop to find a plant with a provenance. Michelle Slatalla, WSJ, "Plant Swaps: The Cheap Way to Score Rare Houseplants," 7 June 2018 To identify full-time occupation, archaeologists look for clues such as chemical signatures in bones that distinguish locals from migrants and the geographic provenance of raw materials. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "The World Is Our Niche," 3 June 2019 Many websites list used aircraft parts but omit details like final prices or provenance documents. Agam Shah, WSJ, "Honeywell Brings Blockchain to Used Aircraft Parts Market," 28 May 2019 Part of what's remarkable about this pearl is the cutting edge science that went into verifying its age and provenance. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "A Rare Natural Pearl That Once Belonged to a Spanish Princess Is For Sale," 14 May 2019 Alien provenance Loeb and Amir Siraj, a Harvard undergraduate, spotted the marauding meteor in a catalog compiled by the Center for Near Earth Object Studies. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, "An interstellar meteor may have slammed into Earth," 16 Apr. 2019 To prove their provenance, both to consumers and retailers, Bellucci is deploying blockchain technology developed by Oracle along their supply chain. Nell Lewis, CNN, "Could blockchain help you become a more ethical shopper?," 5 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'provenance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of provenance

1785, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for provenance

French, from provenir to come forth, originate, from Latin provenire, from pro- forth + venire to come — more at pro-, come

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Statistics for provenance

Last Updated

23 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for provenance

The first known use of provenance was in 1785

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More Definitions for provenance

provenance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of provenance

formal : the origin or source of something

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More from Merriam-Webster on provenance

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with provenance

Nglish: Translation of provenance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of provenance for Arabic Speakers

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