pro·​vide | \ prə-ˈvīd How to pronounce provide (audio) \
provided; providing

Definition of provide

transitive verb

1a : to supply or make available (something wanted or needed) provided new uniforms for the band also : afford curtains provide privacy
b : to make something available to provide the children with free balloons
2 : to have as a condition : stipulate the contract provides that certain deadlines will be met
3 archaic : to prepare in advance

intransitive verb

1 : to make preparation to meet a need provide for entertainment especially : to supply something for sustenance or support provides for the poor
2 : to make a proviso or stipulation the Constitution … provides for an elected two-chamber legislatureCurrent Biography
3 : to take precautionary measures provide for the common defenseU.S. Constitution

Examples of provide in a Sentence

The website provides information about local activities. The curtains on the windows provide privacy. The school provided new uniforms for the band. The goal is to provide health care to as many people as possible. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided at the meeting. The website provides users with information about local activities. The school provided the band with new uniforms. The store provides its customers with excellent service. Workers were provided with gloves for protection. The contract provides that certain deadlines will be met. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The department is accepting bids from companies through June 10 to provide social-studies books for five years starting in 2023. Orlando Sentinel, 19 May 2022 Take 40 percent off this portable, waterproof speaker that will provide up to five hours of powerful sound and music for your backyard parties. Taylor Giangregorio, Popular Mechanics, 18 May 2022 In other words, there is no good reason why many birth control pills provide a week off for menstruation. Kim Elsesser, Forbes, 18 May 2022 Incentivizing people to work will not only benefit the area to provide employees for the new businesses, but will help individuals to become more productive and self-confident citizens. Baltimore Sun, 18 May 2022 Plans are in the works to expand the facilities to provide recycled water for 1 million people. Michael Smolenscolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 May 2022 The surge in energy prices, in part a consequence of the Ukraine war, has hit household budgets hard, spurring calls for the government to provide further help for the poorest. Paul Hannon, WSJ, 18 May 2022 This would allow photosynthetic power to provide energy for a multitude of devices. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 16 May 2022 Code violations listed in online city records dated to 2014 and earlier, include failures to properly maintain elevators, install smoke detectors in some stairwells, and to provide for testing of the fire pump. Robert Mccoppin, Chicago Tribune, 16 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of provide

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 3

History and Etymology for provide

Middle English, from Latin providēre, literally, to see ahead, from pro- forward + vidēre to see — more at pro-, wit

Learn More About provide

Time Traveler for provide

Time Traveler

The first known use of provide was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near provide



provide against

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for provide

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Provide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for provide


pro·​vide | \ prə-ˈvīd How to pronounce provide (audio) \
provided; providing

Kids Definition of provide

1 : to give something that is needed Volunteers provide meals for the poor.
2 : to supply something : supply (someone) with something The room provides a view of the city. I can't provide you with the answer.
3 : to make as a condition The rules provide that all players must practice.

Other Words from provide

provider \ prə-​ˈvī-​dər \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on provide

Nglish: Translation of provide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of provide for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!