Provost marshal (a) (Mil.) An officer appointed in every army, in the field, to secure the prisoners confined on charges of a general nature. He also performs such other duties pertaining to police and discipline as the regulations of the service or the commander's orders impose upon him. (b) (Nav.) An officer who has charge of prisoners on trial by court-martial, serves notices to witnesses, etc.

(Prov"ost*ship), n. The office of a provost.

(Prow) n. [F. proue (cf. Sp. & Pg. proa, It. prua), L. prora, Gr. akin to before. See Pro-, and cf. Prore.] The fore part of a vessel; the bow; the stem; hence, the vessel itself. Wordsworth.

The floating vessel swum
Uplifted, and secure with beaked prow
rode tilting o'er the waves.

(Prow) n. See Proa.

(Prow), a. [Compar. Prower ; superl. Prowest.] [OF. prou, preu, F. preux, fr. L. pro, prod, in prodesse to be useful. See Pro-, and cf. Prude.] Valiant; brave; gallant; courageous. [Archaic] Tennyson.

The prowest knight that ever field did fight.

(Prow), n. [OE. & OF. prou. See Prow, a.] Benefit; profit; good; advantage. [Obs.]

That shall be for your hele and for your prow.

(Prow"ess) n. [OF. proece, proesce, F. prouesse. See Prow, a.] Distinguished bravery; valor; especially, military bravery and skill; gallantry; intrepidity; fearlessness. Chaucer. Sir P. Sidney.

He by his prowess conquered all France.

(Prowl) v. t. [imp. & p. p. Prowled ; p. pr. & vb. n. Prowling.] [OE. prollen to search about; of uncertain origin, perh. for proglen, a dim. of prog to beg, or proke to poke. Cf. Proke.]

1. To rove over, through, or about in a stealthy manner; esp., to search in, as for prey or booty.

He prowls each place, still in new colors decked.
Sir P. Sidney.

2. To collect by plunder; as, to prowl money. [Obs.]

(Pro*voke"ment) n. The act that which, provokes; one who excites anger or other passion, or incites to action; as, a provoker of sedition.

Drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.

(Pro*vok"ing), a. Having the power or quality of exciting resentment; tending to awaken passion or vexation; as, provoking words or treatment.Pro*vok"ing*ly, adv.

(Prov"ost) n. [OF. provost (L. prae and pro being confused), F. prevôt, fr. L. praepositus placed before, a chief, fr. praeponere to place before: cf. AS. prafost, profast. See Preposition, and cf. Propound.]

1. A person who is appointed to superintend, or preside over, something; the chief magistrate in some cities and towns; as, the provost of Edinburgh or of Glasgow, answering to the mayor of other cities; the provost of a college, answering to president; the provost or head of certain collegiate churches.

2. The keeper of a prison. [Obs.] Shak.

In France, formerly, a provost was an inferior judge who had cognizance of civil causes. The grand provost of France, or of the household, had jurisdiction in the king's house, and over its officers.

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