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

Senior officials, including Mr. Comey, watched all this in full knowledge of the dossier’s provenance. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "What’s Next in FBI Oversight," 20 Dec. 2018 This means that—like the label of your favorite artisanal coffee bag—the diamond’s provenance will be listed directly next to the stone in stores, and a unique serial number, invisible to the naked eye, will be laser-etched on the gem’s surface. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "New Year, New Jewels: Tiffany & Co. Commits to Geographic Transparency for all its Diamonds," 9 Jan. 2019 Evidence pointing to a specific date can add to the card's provenance. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Your Old Christmas Cards Might Be Worth Serious Money," 16 Nov. 2018 Lohan’s brand of fame predates Vanderpump’s: Her particular flavor of pop culture infamy is from a bygone era without smartphones and social media, in which messiness and raw access were the provenance of paparazzi and gossip rags. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Rebooting Lindsay Lohan," 8 Jan. 2019 Abandoned by the left, rejected by the Bannonite right, mocked by Catholic integralists who seem unaware of its religious provenance, America’s traditional liberalism is the country’s political creed and the winning ticket in nearly every election. F.h. Buckley, WSJ, "Trump May Be the True Liberal," 31 Dec. 2018 For something like a designer handbag, blockchain could help assure customers of its provenance — an ongoing challenge in the luxury resale market, which currently relies largely on the subjective expertise of authentication specialists. Hilary George-parkin, Vox, "The technology behind bitcoin is coming for retail, and you probably won’t even notice.," 18 Oct. 2018 While Meghan is clearly a fan of the jewelry, its provenance is still something of a mystery. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Celebrates Prince Charles's 70th Birthday in a Pair of Statement Diamond Earrings," 14 Nov. 2018 So does that get us further down the road to determining the original provenance of the dossier, who contributed to it? Fox News, "Jay Sekulow: Mueller investigation needs to end 'very soon'," 9 Aug. 2018

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

2 Apr 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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