- provincial (n.)
- late 14c., "ecclesiastical head of a province," from provincial (adj.). From c. 1600 as "native or inhabitant of a province;" from 1711 as "country person."
- provincialism (n.)
- 1820 in the political sense, "local attachment as opposed to national unity," from provincial + -ism. Meaning "manners or modes of a certain province or of provinces generally" (as opposed to the big city or capital) is from 1836. Sense of "a local word or usage or expression" is from 1770.
PROVINCIALISM consists in:
(a) An ignorance of the manners, customs and nature of people living outside one's own village, parish, or nation.
(b) A desire to coerce others into uniformity.
[Ezra Pound, "Provincialism the Enemy," 1917]
- provinciality (n.)
- "quality or condition of being provincial," 1759, from provincial + -ity.
- provision (n.)
- late 14c., "a providing beforehand, action of arranging in advance" (originally in reference to ecclesiastical appointments made before the position was vacant), from Old French provision "precaution, care" (early 14c.), from Latin provisionem (nominative provisio) "a foreseeing, foresight, preparation, prevention," noun of action from past participle stem of providere "look ahead" (see provide). Meaning "something provided" is attested from late 15c.; specific sense of "supply of food" is from c. 1600.
- provision (v.)
- "to supply with provisions," 1787, from provision (n.). Related: Provisioned; provisioning.
- provisional (adj.)
- "as a temporary arrangement for the present," c. 1600, from provision (n.) + -al (1), or else from Middle French provisionnal (15c.), from Old French provision. The notion is of something that will "provide for present needs." Related: Provisionally.
- provisioner (n.)
- 1814, agent noun from provision (v.).
- provisions (n.)
- "supply of food," c. 1600; see provision.
- proviso (n.)
- mid-15c., from Medieval Latin proviso (quod) "provided (that)," phrase at the beginning of clauses in legal documents (mid-14c.), from Latin proviso "it being provided," ablative neuter of provisus, past participle of providere (see provide). Related: Provisory.
- provocate (v.)
- "to provoke, call forth," mid-15c., rare then and now obsolete, from Latin provocatus, past participle of provocare "to call out" (see provoke). Related: Provocated; provocating.
- provocateur (n.)
- 1915 (Emma Goldman), shortened form of agent provocateur "person hired to make trouble" (1845), from French provocateur, from Latin provocator "challenger," from provocare "to call out" (see provoke).
- provocation (n.)
- c. 1400, from Old French provocacion (12c.) and directly from Latin provocationem (nominative provocatio) "a calling forth, a summoning, a challenge," noun of action from past participle stem of provocare "to call out" (see provoke).
- provocative (adj.)
- mid-15c., "eliciting," from Middle French provocatif (15c.) and directly from Late Latin provocativus "calling forth," from provocat-, past participle stem of Latin provocare (see provoke). Specifically of sexual desire from 1620s. Related: Provocatively; provocativeness. The earliest appearance of the word in English is as a noun meaning "an aphrodisiac" (early 15c.).
- provoke (v.)
- late 14c., from Old French provoker, provochier (12c., Modern French provoquer) and directly from Latin provocare "call forth, challenge," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + vocare "to call" (see voice (n.)). Related: Provoked; provoking.
- provoking (adj.)
- 1520s, "that incites or instigates," present participle adjective from provoke. Meaning "irritating, frustrating" is attested from 1640s. Related: Provokingly.
- provolone (n.)
- 1946, from Italian, augmentative of provola "cheese made from buffalo milk," from Medieval Latin probula, of uncertain origin.
Il nome non ha una derivazione precisa. L'etimologia, secondo alcuni, fa pensare alla parola napoletana prova-provola con cui in Campania viene indicato il classico latticino di bufala a pasta filata, da consumarsi fresco. ["Dieta Mediterranea"]
- provost (n.)
- Old English profost, reinforced by Old French cognate provost, both from Late Latin propositus (reinforced by Old French cognate provost), from Latin propositus/praepositus "a chief, prefect" (source of Old Provençal probost, Old High German probost, German Propst), literally "placed before, in charge of," from past participle of praeponere "put before" (see preposition). Provost marshal first recorded 1510s.
- prow (n.)
- "forepart of a ship," 1550s, from Middle French proue, from Italian (Genoese) prua, from Vulgar Latin *proda, by dissimilation from Latin prora "prow," from Greek proira, related to pro "before, forward," proi "early in the morning," from PIE *pre-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per).
Middle English and early Modern English (and Scott) had prore in same sense, from Latin. Modern Italian has proda only in sense "shore, bank." Prow and poop meant "the whole ship," hence 16c.-17c. figurative use of the expression for "the whole" (of anything).
- prowess (n.)
- late 13c., prouesse, from Old French proece "prowess, courage, brave deed" (Modern French prouesse), from prou, later variant of prud "brave, valiant," from Vulgar Latin *prodem (source also of Spanish proeza, Italian prodezza; see proud). Prow was in Middle English as a noun meaning "advantage, profit," also as a related adjective ("valiant, brave"), but it has become obsolete. "In 15-17th c. often a monosyllable" [OED].
- prowl (v.)
- late 14c., prollen, "move about in search of something," of unknown origin, with no known cognates. Spelling with -w- is from 1500s (compare bowls), but pronounced "prôll" till late 18c. Meaning "go stealthily in search of prey" is first recorded 1580s. Related: Prowled; prowling. The noun, in on the prowl, is attested from 1803.
- prowler (n.)
- 1510s, proller, agent noun from prowl (v.).
- prowling (n.)
- mid-15c., verbal noun from prowl (v.).
- proxemics (n.)
- 1963, coined from proximity + -emics.
- proximal (adj.)
- 1727, from Latin proximus "nearest, next" (see proximity) + -al (1). Related: Proximally.
- proximate (adj.)
- "neighboring," 1590s (implied in proximately), from Late Latin proximatus, past participle of proximare "to draw near," from proximus "nearest, next" (see proximity).
- proximity (n.)
- late 15c., from Middle French proximité "nearness" (14c.), from Latin proximitatem (nominative proximitas) "nearness, vicinity," from proximus "nearest, next; most direct; adjoining," figuratively "latest, most recent; next, following; most faithful," superlative of prope "near" (see propinquity).
- proxy (n.)
- early 15c., proccy, prokecye, "agency of one who acts instead of another; letter of power of attorney," contraction of Anglo-French procuracie (c. 1300), from Medieval Latin procuratia "administration," from Latin procuratio "a caring for, management," from procurare "manage" (see procure). Also compare proctor (n.). Meaning "person who acts in place of another" is from 1610s.
- Prozac (n.)
- 1985, proprietary name for fluoxetine hydrochloride, developed early 1970s by Lilly Industries.
- prude (n.)
- 1704, "woman who affects or upholds modesty in a degree considered excessive," from French prude "excessively prim or demure woman," first recorded in Molière. Perhaps a false back-formation or an ellipsis of preudefemme "a discreet, modest woman," from Old French prodefame "noblewoman, gentlewoman; wife, consort," fem. equivalent of prudhomme "a brave man" (see proud); or perhaps a direct noun use of the French adjective prude "prudish," from Old French prude, prode, preude "good, virtuous, modest," a feminine form of the adjective preux. Also occasionally as an adjective in English 18c.
- prudence (n.)
- mid-14c. (c. 1200 as a surname), mid-14c., "intelligence; discretion, foresight; wisdom to see what is suitable or profitable;" also one of the four cardinal virtues, "wisdom to see what is virtuous;" from Old French prudence (13c.) and directly from Latin prudentia "a foreseeing, foresight, sagacity, practical judgment," contraction of providentia "foresight" (see providence). Secondary sense of "wisdom" (late 14c.) is preserved in jurisprudence.
- fem. proper name; see prudence.
- prudent (adj.)
- late 14c., from Old French prudent "with knowledge, deliberate" (c. 1300), from Latin prudentem (nominative prudens) "knowing, skilled, sagacious, circumspect;" rarely in literal sense "foreseeing;" contraction of providens, present participle of providere "to foresee" (see provide). Related: Prudently.
- prudential (adj.)
- mid-15c., from Medieval Latin prudentialis, from Latin prudentia "a foreseeing, foresight" (see prudence). Related: Prudentially. Prudential, the U.S. insurance company, dates to the 1870s; its logo featuring the Rock of Gibraltar dates from c. 1900 and was widely known 20c.
- prudery (n.)
- 1709, from prude + -ery and in part from French pruderie.
The peculiarity of prudery is to multiply sentinels, in proportion as the fortress is less threatened. [Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables"]
Some 20c. writers in English used extended form prudibundery, in many cases likely for contemptuous emphasis, from French prudibonderie "prudery."
- prudish (adj.)
- 1717, from prude (adj.) + -ish. Related: Prudishly; prudishness.
- prune (n.)
- mid-14c., "a plum," also "a dried plum" (c. 1200 in place name Prunhill), from Old French pronne "plum" (13c.), from Vulgar Latin *pruna, fem. singular formed from Latin pruna, neuter plural of prunum "a plum," by dissimilation from Greek proumnon, from a language of Asia Minor. Slang meaning "disagreeable or disliked person" is from 1895. Prune juice is from 1807.
- prune (v.)
- early 15c., prouyne, from Old French proignier "cut back (vines), prune" (Modern French provigner), of unknown origin. Perhaps [Watkins] from Gallo-Roman *pro-retundiare "cut in a rounded shape in front," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + *retundiare "round off," from Latin rotundus (see round (adj.)). Klein suggests the Old French word is from provain "layer of a vine," from Latin propago (see prop (n.1)).
Or the Middle English word might be identical with the falconry term proinen, proynen "trim the feather with the beak" (late 14c.), source of preen [Barnhart]. Related: Pruned; pruning. Pruning hook is from 1610s; pruning knife from 1580s.
- prunella (n.)
- stout textile used for men's robes and gowns, 1650s, from French prunelle, noun use of adjective meaning "plum-colored," from prunelle, diminutive of prune "plum" (see prune (n.)).
- prurience (n.)
- 1680s, from prurient + -ence. Related: Pruriency (1660s).
- prurient (adj.)
- 1630s, "itching," later, and now exclusively, "having an itching desire" (1650s), especially "lascivious, lewd," (1746), from Latin prurientem (nominative pruriens), present participle of prurire "to itch; to long for, be wanton," perhaps related to pruna "glowing coals," from PIE root *preus- "to freeze; burn" (see freeze (v.)). Related: Pruriently.
- pruritus (n.)
- "itching of the skin without visible eruption" [Klein], 1650s, from Latin pruritus, past participle of prurire "to itch" (see prurient). Earlier via Old French in form prurite (early 15c.). Related: Pruritic.
- prushun (n.)
- 1893, "boy who travels with a tramp and begs for him," of unknown origin; his protector/owner was a jocker.
- Prussia (n.)
- from Medieval Latin Borussi, Prusi, Latinized forms of the native name of the Lithuanian people who lived in the bend of the Baltic before being conquered 12c. and exterminated by (mostly) German crusaders who replaced them as the inhabitants. Perhaps from Slavic *Po-Rus "(The Land) Near the Rusi" (Russians). The duchy of Prussia after union with the Mark of Brandenberg, became the core of the Prussian monarchy and later the chief state in the German Empire.
- 1550s (n.), 1560s (adj.), from Prussia + -an. Prussian blue pigment (1724) came to English from French bleu de Prusse, so called for being discovered in Berlin, the Prussian capital.
All in all, it seems that Prussian blue was synthesised for the first time around 1706 by the Swiss immigrant Johann Jacob Diesbach in Berlin. [Jens Bartoll and Bärbel Jackisch, "Prussian Blue: A Chronology of the Early Years," "Zeitschrift für Kunsttechnologie und Konservierung" 24, No. 1, 2010]
Early German sources refer to it as Preußisches Ultra-Marin and berliner blau. Prussic acid (1790), is from French acide prussique, so called in reference to prussian blue pigment, to which it is chemically related.
- pry (v.1)
- "look inquisitively," c. 1300, from prien "to peer in," of unknown origin, perhaps related to late Old English bepriwan "to wink." Related: Pried; prying. As a noun, "act of prying," from 1750; meaning "inquisitive person" is from 1845.
- pry (v.2)
- "raise by force," 1823, from a noun meaning "instrument for prying, crowbar;" alteration of prize (as though it were a plural) in obsolete sense of "lever" (c. 1300), from Old French prise "a taking hold, grasp" (see prize (n.2)).
- psalm (n.)
- Old English psealm, salm, partly from Old French psaume, saume, partly from Church Latin psalmus, from Greek psalmos "song sung to a harp," originally "performance on stringed instrument; a plucking of the harp" (compare psaltes "harper"), from psallein "play on a stringed instrument, pull, twitch" (see feel (v.)).
Used in Septuagint for Hebrew mizmor "song," especially the sort sung by David to the harp. Related: Psalmodize; psalmody. After some hesitation, the pedantic ps- spelling prevailed in English, as it was in many neighboring languages (German, French, etc.), but English is almost alone in not pronouncing the p-.
- psalmist (n.)
- late 15c. (replacing psalmistre, late 14c.), from Middle French psalmiste and directly from Church Latin psalmista, from Ecclesiastical Greek psalmistes, from psalmizein "to sing psalms," from psalmos (see psalm).
- psalter (n.)
- "the Book of Psalms," Old English saltere, psaltere, from Church Latin psalterium "the songs of David," in secular Latin, "stringed instrument played by twanging," from Greek psalterion "stringed instrument, psaltery, harp," from psallein "to pluck, play on a stringed instrument" (see psalm).
- psaltery (n.)
- "ancient stringed instrument," c. 1300, from Old French psalterie (12c.), from Latin psalterium "stringed instrument," from Greek psalterion "stringed instrument," from psallein "play on a stringed instrument, pull, pluck" (see psalm).