pro·​ve·​nience prə-ˈvē-nyən(t)s How to pronounce provenience (audio)

Did you know?

Did you suspect that "provenience" and "provenance" originate from the same source? You're right; they're parent and child. "Provenance" is the older of the two. It has been used to mean "origin" in English since at least the 1780s, and it is modeled on the French verb provenir, meaning "to come forth, originate." The French word, in turn, derives from Latin provenire, a composite of "pro-" (meaning "forth") and "venire" (meaning "come"). "Provenience" is a chip off the old block, originating as a modification of "provenance" about 100 years after its parent debuted in English texts. The source of the extra syllable in "provenience" is most likely "proveniens," a participle of "provenire" (the similar Latin participle conveniens gave us "convenience," another "venire" derivative).

Examples of provenience in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As my most recent work pulls inspiration from my Italian provenience, so does this album. Kat Bein, Billboard, 5 Mar. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'provenience.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alteration of provenance

First Known Use

1882, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of provenience was in 1882


Dictionary Entries Near provenience

Cite this Entry

“Provenience.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

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