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[per-vey-uh ns] /pərˈveɪ əns/
the act of purveying.
something that is purveyed, as provisions.
English Law. a prerogative of the crown, abolished in 1660, allowing provisions, supplies, or services for the sovereign or the royal household to be purchased or acquired at an appraised value.
1225-75; purvey + -ance; replacing Middle English purvea(u)nce, purvya(u)nce < Old French purveance < Latin prōvidentia. See providence
Related forms
nonpurveyance, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for purveyance
  • purveyance of services is in itself not subject to tax.
British Dictionary definitions for purveyance


(history) the collection or requisition of provisions for a sovereign
(rare) the act of purveying
(rare) that which is purveyed
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 purveyance

c.1300, from Anglo-French purveance and directly from Old French porveance, from Latin providentia (see providence).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for purveyance

in English history, the prerogative of the sovereign to compel the sale of goods at a reduced price to maintain himself and his household as they traveled through the country. It was a constant source of grievance from the European Middle Ages into the 17th century. King's officers compulsorily purchased (purveyed) from the great fairs or in local markets in advance of the king's itinerant court. Purveyance included not only the acquisition of goods but the hiring of horses and carts to convey the goods and often forced personal labour. Profiteering officials aggravated the hardship, especially when local surpluses were small. The first limitation of this prerogative was won in the Magna Carta (1215), and in the next three centuries several statutes and petitions were issued against its excesses. The custom nevertheless persisted until the 17th century; Francis Bacon spoke against purveyors in the first Parliament of James I. Purveyance fell out of use during the Commonwealth and was abolished in 1660 at the Restoration

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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