Definition of provincial in English:

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Pronunciation: /prəˈvɪnʃ(ə)l/


1Of or concerning a province of a country or empire: provincial elections
More example sentences
  • Another reason for low results is that people just didn't feel as informed as they did for the provincial election and decided that voting would therefore be a waste.
  • The teachers threatened to stage a sit-in outside the provincial governor's house if the problem was not resolved.
  • The march led to traffic being blocked, before it came to a halt outside the provincial governor's office.
non-metropolitan, small-town, non-urban, outlying, rural, country, rustic, backwoods, backwater
informal one-horse
North American informal hick, freshwater
2Of or concerning the regions outside the capital city of a country, especially when regarded as unsophisticated or narrow-minded: provincial towns the whole exhibition struck one as being very provincial
More example sentences
  • For all over Ireland, ribbon development of houses persists outside provincial towns and one-off badly sited homes are built without regard for the landscape as a whole.
  • Well over €1million an acre is being achieved for retail parks outside provincial towns.
  • A young woman in her twenties returns from the capital city to a provincial town where she grew up.
regional, state, territorial, district, local;
sectoral, zonal, cantonal, county, parochial;
unsophisticated, narrow-minded, parochial, small-town, suburban, insular, parish-pump, inward-looking, limited, restricted, localist, conservative, narrow;
small-minded, petty, blinkered, illiberal, inflexible, bigoted, prejudiced, intolerant
North American informal jerkwater, corn-fed


1An inhabitant of a province of a country or empire.
Example sentences
  • Augustine was a local boy who made good, a provincial from the southern edge of Fourth-Century Roman Africa, vain and enslaved to a fierce mother.
  • Roman citizens paid little tax, but provincials paid a property tax and a poll tax amounting to 10 or 15 percent of income.
  • The proud son of the Franche-Comte was on his way to success in Paris when he met Bruyas, an art collector and a provincial from another region of France.
2An inhabitant of the regions outside the capital city of a country, especially when regarded as unsophisticated or narrow-minded: a town populated by money-grubbers, philistines, and self-satisfied provincials
More example sentences
  • But then people stopped wearing dunces-caps in the towns because it came to be seen as a sign of a provincial, a peasant.
  • Instead it reminds us that men such as Dabney were hardly rustic provincials.
  • Ask yourself why countless numbers of people (maybe provincials like yourself) like lemmings are fleeing the capital?
(country) bumpkin, country cousin, rustic, yokel, village idiot, peasant, churl, lout, boor, oaf, clown, barbarian, yahoo
Irish , derogatory culchie, bogman
informal clod, clodhopper
British informal yob, yobbo, plonker
North American informal schlub, hayseed, hick, rube, hillbilly
Australian informal ocker
rare bucolic
2.1 (provincials) British Local newspapers, as contrasted with national ones.
Example sentences
  • For a front-page photo in the provincials, the rate is $100, and it varies for the photos used for the national publication.
  • He argues against the use of nonstandard dialogue for the sake of local color or to make the social point that provincials can have literary status.
  • You have not said, are you working for the nationals or provincials? I cannot see why they need you for Saturday work, unless you are covering sports events.
3 Christian Church The head or chief of a province or of a religious order in a province.
Example sentences
  • As provincial of his order, he addressed temperance meetings throughout Ireland.
  • By 1923, the Capuchin provincial asked Solanus to keep a notebook of special cases and reported healings related to his consultations.
  • It does say that he was upset with the poor catechetical materials used in parishes in Australia and that his provincial reprimanded him for preaching on hell.



Example sentences
  • Over the generations, men who saw themselves as metropolitan sophisticates traveled to America and were suddenly confronted with their own provinciality.
  • To be smug about any locale - even New York City - is itself a mark of provinciality and bad taste.
  • The Early Devonian saw a decline to 20 genera, with a slow return by the end of the Pragian, a tectonically active phase marked by global sea level drawdowns, and provinciality.




(also provincialise) verb


Pronunciation: /prəˈvɪnʃ(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • He's bright, he's articulate, he knows and understand politics, he's worked federally and provincially, he gets the business play - I think he'd be a great mayor.
  • ‘Health care is a provincially mandated service,’ said McKeon Holmes.
  • It's remarkable [because] he's been in politics five years provincially, that it has taken him this long, but what can you say?


Late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin provincialis 'belonging to a province' (see province).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pro|vin¦cial

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