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[prov-i-den-shuh l] /ˌprɒv ɪˈdɛn ʃəl/
of, relating to, or resulting from divine providence:
providential care.
opportune, fortunate, or lucky:
a providential event.
Origin of providential
1640-50; < Latin prōvidenti(a) providence + -al1
Related forms
providentially, adverb
nonprovidential, adjective
nonprovidentially, adverb
unprovidential, adjective
unprovidentially, adverb
Can be confused
providential, provincial.
2. happy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for providential
  • Its setting between harbor and sky feels providential.
  • But stepping back from this unhappy scene reveals the providential paradox.
  • At one time showed her safety to a providential change in the wind.
  • Even as he was dying at age seventy-six, he had trouble accepting the collapse of a political order he considered providential.
  • By providential chance he learns who was in the fatal car.
  • Certainly, there was something providential about it-from the point of view of the teacher as well as of the taught.
  • His seclusion came to an end in a distinctly providential manner.
  • If not, it was providential, for at last it stirred the cheers that people were accustomed to giving at papal elections.
  • The refusal of one of her beloved dogs to get into the car with her was a providential warning.
British Dictionary definitions for providential


relating to, characteristic of, or presumed to proceed from or as if from divine providence
Derived Forms
providentially, adverb
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 providential

1610s, "pertaining to foresifght" (implied in providentially); 1640s as "pertaining to divine providence," from Latin providentia (see providence) + -al (1). Meaning "by divine interposition" is recorded from 1719.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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