late 14c., divisioun, "act of separating into parts, portions, or shares; a part separated or distinguished from the rest; state of being at variance in sentiment or interest," from Old French division and directly from Latin divisionem (nominative divisio), noun of action from past-participle stem of dividere "to divide" (see divide (v.)).
Military sense "portion of an army, fleet, or ship's company" is from 1590s. Mathematical sense of "operation inverse to multiplication" is from late 14c. The mathematical division sign supposedly was invented by British mathematician John Pell (1611-1685) who taught at Cambridge and Amsterdam.
"administrative district, office, or jurisdiction of a prefect," mid-15c., from Old French préfecture (13c.) and directly from Latin praefectura, or assembled locally from prefect + -ure. Also used as the English equivalent to Chinese fu, "an administrative division consisting of several districts" (1885).
1590s, "office of a president," also "superintendence, direction," from Medieval Latin praesidentia "office of a president" (mid-13c.), from Latin praesidentem (nominative praesidens) "president, governor" (see president). Earlier was presidentship (1520s), presidence (c. 1500). Meaning "a president's term in office" is from 1610s. In British India, a chief administrative division.
ancient German territorial and administrative division, originally comprising several villages, from Old High German gawi, from Proto-Germanic *gauja-, which is of uncertain origin. surviving in place names such as Breisgau and Oberammergau; also in gauleiter (with leiter "leader"), title of the local political leaders under the Nazi system. Compare the first element in yeoman.
mid-14c., "a shire, a definite division of a country or state for political and administrative purposes," from Anglo-French counte, from Late Latin comitatus "jurisdiction of a count," from Latin comes (see count (n.1)). It replaced Old English scir "shire."
From late 14c. as "the domain of a count or earl." County palatine, one distinguished by special privileges (Lancaster, Chester, Durham) is from mid-15c. County seat "seat of the government of a county" is by 1848, American English.
Latin, "unless," occurring in legal and administrative phrases used in English, from ni "not " + si "if."
mid-14c., "country, territory, region, political or administrative division of a country," from Old French province "province, part of a country; administrative region for friars" (13c.) and directly from Latin provincia "territory outside Italy under Roman domination," also "a public office; public duty," a word of uncertain origin. It commonly is explained as pro- "before" + vincere "to conquer" (from nasalized form of PIE root *weik- (3) "to fight, conquer"); but this does not suit the earliest Latin usages. Compare Provence. Meaning "one's particular business or expertise" is from 1620s.
Originally, a country of considerable extent which, being reduced under Roman dominion, was remodeled, subjected to the rule of a governor sent from Rome, and charged with such taxes and contributions as the Romans saw fit to impose. The earliest Roman province was Sicily. [Century Dictionary]