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

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Examples of provide in a Sentence

The Web site 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 Web site 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Cyber criminals are particularly fond of phishing attacks that entice people to click on email links that provide the thief access to their computer networks. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, "A game of 'cat and mouse': Hacking attacks on hospitals for patient data increase during coronavirus pandemic," 13 July 2020 Under the Trump Administration, veterans have a right to seek private-sector care, at the VA’s expense, if the VA can’t provide timely care directly to the veteran. Jennifer Griffin | Fox News, Fox News, "Army's 'Captain America' dies by suicide after nearly a dozen combat tours," 11 July 2020 That might be the most disappointing reality of the return to MLS play as rivalries across the league lose out on the passion and intensity that only raucous, motivated home crowds can provide. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, "Can the passion of 'Hell is Real' rivalry translate to MLS Is Back Tournament?," 10 July 2020 Books that revisit stories excluded from the literary canon can provide a kind of corrective. Kate Cray, The Atlantic, "The Books Briefing: How to Read a Classic Today," 10 July 2020 Other researchers have suggested that vaccines for polio and measles, mumps and rubella, may provide similar protections against lethal infections, including coronavirus. Lauren Mascarenhas, CNN, "More evidence emerges that a TB vaccine might help fight coronavirus," 10 July 2020 Peter Chin-Hong, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at UCSF, said the genes that make the ACE2 receptors are next to the genes that provide the blood type codes. Peter Fimrite,, "If you have this blood type, studies show you’re at higher risk for the coronavirus," 9 July 2020 McConnell last week outlined a Senate package that would provide five-year lawsuit liability as well as a new round of direct aid for lower-income workers. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Virus surge pushes Congress toward new coronavirus aid package," 9 July 2020 His review concluded that the most popular wearables, such as the AppleWatch, FitBit, and Oura Ring, do not provide key Covid-19-related diagnostic data, such as measurements of pulse oximetry. Eric Niiler, Wired, "Tech That Could Help Pro Sports Adapt to the Pandemic," 7 July 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for provide

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for provide

Last Updated

31 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Provide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for provide


How to pronounce provide (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of provide

: to make (something) available : to supply (something that is wanted or needed)
: to give something wanted or needed to (someone or something) : to supply (someone or something) with something
formal : to say that something will or should happen : to make it certain or possible that something will happen or be done


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on provide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for provide

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with provide

Spanish Central: Translation of provide

Nglish: Translation of provide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of provide for Arabic Speakers

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