A provincial person comes from the backwaters. Someone from a small province outside of Provence, France, might seem a little more provincial and less worldly than someone from, say, Paris.

Something or someone provincial belongs to a province, or region outside of the city. Provincial has a straightforward meaning when describing where someone is from, but it has some other shades of meaning too. Something provincial can be quaint and in a pleasing rural or country style, but it also can imply someone less sophisticated, as in someone with provincial, or simple, tastes. Individuals or groups of people who are considered narrow-minded are often labeled provincial, even if they’re from the city.

Definitions of provincial
  1. adjective

    of or associated with a province

    provincial government”

  2. adjective

    characteristic of the provinces or their people

    provincial and conformist”
    “in that well-educated company I felt uncomfortably
    provincial attitudes”

    bumpkinly, hick, rustic, unsophisticated

    awkwardly simple and provincial

    strong and healthy but not sophisticated
    insular, parochial

    narrowly restricted in outlook or scope
    jerkwater, one-horse, pokey, poky

    small and remote and insignificant

    not given to travel
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    composed of people from or at home in many parts of the world; especially not provincial in attitudes or interests
    traveled, travelled

    familiar with many parts of the world
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  3. noun

    a country person

    bucolic, peasant
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    cottar, cotter

    a peasant farmer in the Scottish Highlands
    moujik, mujik, muzhik, muzjik

    a Russian peasant (especially prior to 1917)
    type of:


    an unsophisticated country person

  4. noun

    (Roman Catholic Church) an official in charge of an ecclesiastical province acting under the superior general of a religious order

    “the general of the Jesuits receives monthly reports from the
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    type of:

    functionary, official

    a worker who holds or is invested with an office

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