provenience was our Word of the Day on 04/01/2013. Hear the podcast!
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).
Origin and Etymology of provenience
alteration of provenance
First Known Use: 1882
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