Provenance definition

prŏvə-nəns, -näns
Provenance is defined as the place where something originally came or began, or a record tracing the ownership history of certain items that helps to confirm their authenticity and value.

When a rug is woven in India, this is an example of a time when the provenance is India.

When a piece of art can be traced back in history as first having been owned by a King and then by two collectors, this history of the owners is an example of the provenance of the art.

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Place of origin; derivation.
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The history of the ownership of an object, especially when documented or authenticated. Used of artworks, antiques, and books.
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Origin; derivation; source.
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Place or source of origin.

Many supermarkets display the provenance of their food products.

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The records or documents authenticating such an object or the history of its ownership.
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(archaeology) The place and time of origin of some artifact or other object. See Usage note below.

This spear is of Viking provenance.

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(art) The history of ownership of a work of art.

The picture is of royal provenance.

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(computing) The copy history of a piece of data, or the intermediate pieces of data utilized to compute a final data element, as in a database record or web site (data provenance)
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(computing) The execution history of computer processes which were utilized to compute a final piece of data (process provenance)
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(of a person) Background; history; place of origin; ancestry.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
provenance
Plural:
provenances

Origin of provenance

  • French from provenant present participle of provenir to originate from Old French from Latin prōvenīre prō- forth pro–1 venīre to come gwā- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From French provenance (“origin"), from Middle French provenant, present participle of provenir (“come forth, arise"), from Latin provenio (“to come forth").

    From Wiktionary