prov·​ince | \ˈprä-vən(t)s \

Definition of province 

1a : a country or region brought under the control of the ancient Roman government

b : an administrative district or division of a country

c provinces plural : all of a country except the metropolises

2a : a division of a country forming the jurisdiction of an archbishop or metropolitan

b : a territorial unit of a religious order

3a : 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

4a : proper or appropriate function or scope : sphere that question is outside my province

b : a department of knowledge or activity

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of province in a Sentence

They left the city for life in the provinces. a legal question outside the doctor's province

Recent Examples on the Web

Authorities have been rushing to extract the boys, ages 11-16, and their coach from the cave as the annual monsoon bears down on the mountainous region in far northern Chiang Rai province. Kaweewit Kaewjinda And Stephen Wright,, "Rescue of remaining 4 boys, coach from flooded Thai cave could take two operations," 9 July 2018 And even as the Afghan capital reeled from Monday's assault, a suicide car bombing a few hours later in the southern province of Kandahar killed 11 children, a police spokesman said. New York Times,, "Trump should win Nobel Peace Prize, says South Korea president," 30 Apr. 2018 Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi performed poorly across majority Shiite provinces that should have been his base of support. Philip Issa, Fox News, "Shiite cleric al-Sadr leads in Iraq's initial vote results," 14 May 2018 Incumbent prime minister Haider al-Abadi performed poorly across the majority Shiite provinces that should have been his base of support. NBC News, "Muqtada al-Sadr's coalition takes early lead in Iraqi elections," 14 May 2018 Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi performed poorly across majority Shiite provinces that should have been his base of support. Philip Issa, The Seattle Times, "Shiite cleric al-Sadr leads in Iraq’s initial vote results," 13 May 2018 Lu Po-shun's Way Home echoes Lekal Sumi's rural realism by tracking a day in the life of Dong-yang (Lu Dong-yang), a young man living alone in the provinces. Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Ten Years Taiwan': Film Review," 13 July 2018 How did the chili pepper become so entrenched in China’s Sichuan and Hunan provinces? Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Some Like It Hot," 12 July 2018 All nine girls were adopted by different American families in 2007 from the same orphanage in Chenzhou, Hunan, a southern province in China. NBC News, "Staying connected: Why these nine adoptees from China reunite annually," 11 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of province

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for province

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin provincia

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about province

Statistics for province

Last Updated

31 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for province

The first known use of province was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for province



English Language Learners 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


prov·​ince | \ˈprä-vəns \

Kids Definition of province

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

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

3 : an area of activity or authority the province of science

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on province

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


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!