pro·​vin·​cial·​ism | \ prə-ˈvin(t)-shə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce provincialism (audio) \

Definition of provincialism

1 : a dialectal or local word, phrase, or idiom
2 : the quality or state of being provincial

Examples of provincialism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ellison detested the hypocrisy, provincialism and crass materialism of Tuskegee. Saidiya Hartman, New York Times, "Ralph Ellison’s Letters Reveal a Complex Philosopher of Black Expression," 19 Dec. 2019 Alas, today’s border walls, whether real or only metaphorical as in a post-Brexit England, are dismal signs of provincialism, pettiness and decline. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "A welcome reminder that there’s value to being a citizen of the world," 11 Dec. 2019 German culture is rife with concepts and artifacts that allow people to articulate their profound distrust of this provincialism, and turn closeness, connectedness, and intuitive understanding into something monstrous and uncanny. Adrian Daub, Longreads, "All Hail the Rat King," 13 Dec. 2019 Ibsen’s next work, Peer Gynt (1867), a stunning picaresque that lampoons Norwegian peasant life, provincialism, and greed, was also enthusiastically received. Andrew Katzenstein, Harper's magazine, "The Radical Conservative," 16 Sep. 2019 The world of the movie is all kitsch and gimmick, a non-stop gag of yah-you-betcha Midwest provincialism interrupted by violent flares of criminal disorder. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "“Drop Dead Gorgeous,” Which Is Finally Streaming, Is Possibly My Favorite Movie of All Time," 5 July 2019 This worry is really the identifying mark of provincialism. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "Going Home with Wendell Berry," 29 May 2019 The way things have been handled the past few weeks has smacked of provincialism. Eric Bolin, ajc, "Bret Bielema paid the price for not playing politics at Arkansas," 26 Nov. 2017 In Sinclair Lewis’ Main Street or Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio—to name just twofamous literary examples of this critique—the communal spirit serves as a byword for provincialism, and bigotry. Jeet Heer, New Republic, "Facebook’s Promise of Community Is a Lie," 7 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'provincialism.' 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 provincialism

1770, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of provincialism was in 1770

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Cite this Entry

“Provincialism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on provincialism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for provincialism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with provincialism

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