provost(redirected from Provost-general)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
pro·vost(prō′vōst′, -vəst, prŏv′əst)
1. A university administrator of high rank.
2. The highest official in certain cathedrals or collegiate churches.
3. The keeper of a prison.
4. The chief magistrate of certain Scottish cities.
1. an appointed person who superintends or presides
2. (Education) the head of certain university colleges or schools
3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (in Scotland) the chairman and civic head of certain district councils or (formerly) of a burgh council. Compare convener2
4. (Anglicanism) Church of England the senior dignitary of one of the more recent cathedral foundations
5. (Roman Catholic Church) RC Church
a. the head of a cathedral chapter in England and some other countries
b. (formerly) the member of a monastic community second in authority under the abbot
6. (Historical Terms) (in medieval times) an overseer, steward, or bailiff in a manor
7. (Law) obsolete a prison warder
8. (Military) military Brit and Canadian a military policeman
[Old English profost head of a chapter, reinforced in Middle English by Anglo-Norman French provost, from Medieval Latin prōpositus, synonym of Latin praepositus chief, head]
pro•vost(ˈproʊ voʊst, ˈprɒv əst or, esp. in military usage, ˈproʊ voʊ)
1. a person appointed to superintend or preside.
2. a high-ranking administrative officer of some colleges and universities, concerned with the curriculum, faculty appointments, etc.
3. the chief dignitary of a cathedral or collegiate church.
4. the mayor of a municipality in Scotland.
5. Obs. a prison warden.
[before 900; Middle English; Old English profost < Medieval Latin prōpositus abbot, prior, provost, literally, (one) placed before, Latin: past participle of prōpōnere. See propound]
provost- Etymologically, an official "placed before" or "put in charge" of others, from Latin praepositus, "superintendent."
See also related terms for official.