Definition of provincial in US English:



  • 1Of or concerning a province of a country or empire.

    ‘provincial elections’
    • ‘The accident occurred some 8 kilometers west of Siem Reap town, the provincial capital where the famed temple of Angkor Wat is located.’
    • ‘Some rural regions are close to urban centres, such as the regions of Manitoba that surround Winnipeg, the provincial capital with 600,000 people.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Born in 1948, he grew up in Halifax and Shad Bay, a small coastal community just outside the provincial capital.’
    • ‘No separatist party in the history of the province has ever gotten over 50% in a federal election, provincial election, or a referendum.’
    • ‘In recent decades the area around the provincial capital of Kunming has developed as an industrial region with an increasing need for electric power.’
    • ‘The Elections Finance Act prohibits most forms of political advertising for the initial week of a provincial election campaign, the day before voting day and day of the vote.’
    • ‘As the next provincial election must be called by May, I believe it's time for us to consider what the past terms of the NDP government have brought to this province.’
    • ‘Our final day's sightseeing started in Sancti Spiritus, the provincial capital of the region of the same name, where the holiday celebrations were in full swing.’
    • ‘He proposed instead to abolish the direct election of provincial governors, thus undermining the constitution and doing away with the country's political foundation of federalism.’
    • ‘The provincial election in Alberta is fast approaching with a November 22nd or 29th vote.’
    • ‘Sono told the court he had voted at national level for the African National Congress in the 1994 elections and his provincial vote went to the Inkatha Freedom Party.’
    • ‘Referring to electoral reform, government said it would implement the decision to review this matter before the next national and provincial elections set for 2009.’
    • ‘He had travelled there from the town of Yopal, the provincial capital of the wealthy oil province Casanare.’
    • ‘Another aspect of the de-democratization policy of the provincial government concerns elections.’
    • ‘Last weekend the fledgling party, less than a year old, held its second congress and outlined their program for the next provincial election.’
    • ‘The march led to traffic being blocked, before it came to a halt outside the provincial governor's office.’
    • ‘He said observers and journalists could watch the first stage of the count at the polling stations, but not at provincial election commission centers where the results are tabulated.’
    • ‘The teachers threatened to stage a sit-in outside the provincial governor's house if the problem was not resolved.’
    • ‘The total number who voted in the city election in Toronto was 699,000, compared to 850,000 in the provincial election.’
    non-metropolitan, small-town, non-urban, outlying, rural, country, rustic, backwoods, backwater
    View synonyms
  • 2Of or concerning the regions outside the capital city of a country, especially when regarded as unsophisticated or narrow-minded.

    ‘the whole exhibition struck one as being very provincial’
    ‘scenes of violence were reported in provincial towns’
    • ‘The son of a wealthy Verona businessman, Catullus arrived in Rome in his early twenties and rapidly evolved from educated but provincial outsider to streetwise society songmeister.’
    • ‘Acadians brought with them provincial cooking styles from France.’
    • ‘In terms of industry and employment Dungarvan, it has to be fairly acknowledged, ranks better than most provincial towns of its size.’
    • ‘Well over €1million an acre is being achieved for retail parks outside provincial towns.’
    • ‘Mr Cowlam also disclosed that the Bradford bid was well-starred because the Government demanded that provincial workforces be as diverse as those in the capital.’
    • ‘It is annoying; I liked the t-shirt I was wearing and now I have to iron the pink one that gets me into trouble in provincial villages.’
    • ‘A young woman in her twenties returns from the capital city to a provincial town where she grew up.’
    • ‘You used to be able to boast that Harvey Nicks was the only provincial store outside London but not any more.’
    • ‘Today there are many professional and amateur theaters and musical organizations both in the capital and in other provincial towns.’
    • ‘It also gives us the opportunity to monitor players outside of the provincial competitions.’
    • ‘Market towns have become provincial backwaters.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How can Reykjavik give every appearance of being a capital city rather than merely a provincial town?’
    • ‘Elites in provincial towns in predominantly indigenous regions are often openly racist.’
    • ‘Hundreds of thousands joined protests in the Syrian capital, while in provincial towns tens of thousands took to the streets.’
    • ‘A new phenomenon of rolling demonstrations circled the world - not only in the great capitals but also in provincial cities and even small towns.’
    • ‘Although quite provincial, Odense boasted the only theater in Denmark outside of Copenhagen, and this was to prove Andersen's salvation.’
    • ‘This is highly thoughtful architecture that despite the provincial nature of its setting makes a point of being decent, modern and civilized.’
    • ‘For 10 or 15 years beforehand, our regions and provincial towns had largely been left to sink or swim.’
    • ‘Already, colourful posters conveying party messages can be seen in public places in the capital Kabul, and in some provincial towns.’
    regional, state, territorial, district, local
    unsophisticated, narrow-minded, parochial, small-town, suburban, insular, parish-pump, inward-looking, limited, restricted, localist, conservative, narrow
    View synonyms


  • 1An inhabitant of a province of a country or empire.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They were primarily divided into three categories - trade unions, groups of provincials from the same hometown outside of Shanghai, and merchant associations for the regulation of trade.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Roman citizens paid little tax, but provincials paid a property tax and a poll tax amounting to 10 or 15 percent of income.’
    1. 1.1provincials (in Canada) athletic contests held between teams representing the country's administrative divisions.
      • ‘Walking into the house we saw copies of pictures of Rachel and I from her birth until just last summer when her soccer team won provincials.’
      • ‘The boys' baseball team will be competing at the 12-team provincials June 5-7 at Reston.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the Pre-Novice Dance team of Melanie Van Soeren and William Denney will be at the Western Challenge thanks to placing third at the provincials.’
      • ‘Niverville rolled through the round robin at the provincials without a loss scoring four straight-set victories.’
      • ‘‘This is my fifth year coaching at the provincials,’ said Yeomans.’
      • ‘She had a good showing at provincials and I think she can pull it off.’
      • ‘The OUA provincials will commence on February 21 at Westmount Golf and Country Club.’
      • ‘The losses eliminated the team from the provincials and finished their season earlier than they had expected.’
      • ‘The selectors will shortly be announcing a squad of 28 men and women for the provincials and a squad of 16 for the senior provincials.’
      • ‘They're becoming more serious as the provincials and Western Championship get closer.’
  • 2An inhabitant of the regions outside the capital city of a country, especially when regarded as unsophisticated or narrow-minded.

    • ‘But then people stopped wearing dunces-caps in the towns because it came to be seen as a sign of a provincial, a peasant.’
    • ‘Ask yourself why countless numbers of people (maybe provincials like yourself) like lemmings are fleeing the capital?’
    • ‘Instead it reminds us that men such as Dabney were hardly rustic provincials.’
    • ‘You are not provincials, she reminds them, you are citizens of a broader Europe.’
    • ‘Sophisticated and chic, it's a really a new experience for us provincials.’
    bumpkin, country bumpkin, country cousin, rustic, yokel, village idiot, peasant, churl, lout, boor, oaf, clown, barbarian, yahoo
    View synonyms
  • 3Christian Church
    The head or chief of a province or of a religious order in a province.

    • ‘As provincial of his order, he addressed temperance meetings throughout Ireland.’
    • ‘In 1971 Fr. Vincent was asked by his provincial to go to the diocese of Kumasi in Ghana, where he spent most of his remaining years.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By 1923, the Capuchin provincial asked Solanus to keep a notebook of special cases and reported healings related to his consultations.’


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