prov·​en·​der | \ ˈprä-vən-dər How to pronounce provender (audio) \

Definition of provender

1 : dry food for domestic animals : feed
2 : food, victuals

Synonyms for provender


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When English speakers first chewed on the word provender around 1300, it referred to a stipend (also known as a prebend) that a clergyman received from his cathedral or collegiate church. Within a half a century, the word's current meanings had developed. These days you're most likely to encounter provender in articles written by food and travel writers. A few such writers confuse provender with purveyor, meaning "a person or business that sells or provides something," but most of them keep the words straight, as Deidre Schipani does in this quote from the Post and Courier, of Charleston, South Carolina: "The kitchen remains true to its local roots. Buying from island farmers, fisherman, shrimpers, butchers and small local artisans keeps the provender and purveyors in alignment."

Examples of provender in a Sentence

a chef who prides himself on creating all of his dishes from local provender
Recent Examples on the Web The outdoor market is a repository of Normandy foods with all the region’s seasonal provender, right now teeming with wild mushrooms. John Mariani, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 No matter, the paucity of provender assured that no one would miss the arrival of King Jayme and Queen Jason. al, 20 Feb. 2020 This, combined with a burgeoning demand for local provender on the part of city restaurants, fertilized a revival of small-scale agriculture in the region. Bryan Miller, Town & Country, 8 Sep. 2013

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'provender.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of provender

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for provender

Middle English, from Anglo-French provende, provendre, from Medieval Latin provenda, alteration of praebenda prebend

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The first known use of provender was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Provender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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