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[pruh-vahyd] /prəˈvaɪd/
verb (used with object), provided, providing.
to make available; furnish:
to provide employees with various benefits.
to supply or equip:
to provide the army with new fighter planes.
to afford or yield.
Law. to arrange for or stipulate beforehand, as by a provision or proviso.
Archaic. to prepare or procure beforehand.
verb (used without object), provided, providing.
to take measures with due foresight (usually followed by for or against).
to make arrangements for supplying means of support, money, etc. (usually followed by for):
He provided for his children in his will.
to supply means of support (often followed by for):
to provide for oneself.
Origin of provide
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English providen < Latin prōvidēre to foresee, look after, provide for, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + vidēre to see
Related forms
providable, adjective
overprovide, verb (used with object), overprovided, overproviding.
preprovide, verb (used with object), preprovided, preproviding.
unprovidable, adjective
1. give, render. 3. produce. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for provide
  • The companies should determine which buildings they are going to build the first year and provide valid reasons for their choices.
  • Perhaps the strategy is to provide enough long-term life-support to allow such tiny, always reversible, glacial steps to proceed.
  • Researchers who curate unpopular varieties provide crucial insurance for our food supply.
  • Their value rather lies in this, that they provide a topic for literature.
  • The raspberry bushes produced about five miniscule berries that couldn't provide more than garnish.
  • New findings provide more evidence that the animals are, in fact, quite crafty.
  • For a materials scientist, however, it can provide inspiration.
  • The nation's waterways could provide much more clean energy.
  • And in species that are not good to eat, colors can provide a warning to potential predators.
  • So the researchers thought that an organism that survives in seawater might provide a natural binder.
British Dictionary definitions for provide


verb (mainly transitive)
to put at the disposal of; furnish or supply
to afford; yield: this meeting provides an opportunity to talk
(intransitive; often foll by for or against) to take careful precautions (over): he provided against financial ruin by wise investment
(intransitive) foll by for. to supply means of support (to), esp financially: he provides for his family
(in statutes, documents, etc) to determine (what is to happen in certain contingencies), esp by including a proviso condition
to confer and induct into ecclesiastical offices
(rare) to have or get in store: in summer many animals provide their winter food
Derived Forms
provider, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin prōvidēre to provide for, from prō- beforehand + vidēre to see
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for provide

early 15c., from Latin providere "look ahead, prepare, supply, act with foresight," from pro- "ahead" (see pro-) + videre "to see" (see vision). Related: Provided; providing. Earlier in same sense was purvey, which is the same word as deformed in Old French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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