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

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to make preparation to meet a need
provide for entertainment
especially : to supply something for sustenance or support
provides for the poor
: to make a proviso or stipulation
the Constitution … provides for an elected two-chamber legislatureCurrent Biography
: 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 Along with acting as a litmus test for Haley’s ability to round up support in her home state, South Carolina’s primary will set the stage going into Super Tuesday and provide a burst of momentum to the winning campaign. Kathryn Palmer, USA TODAY, 25 Feb. 2024 Overcoming these barriers necessitates not just perseverance, but a concerted effort from both public and private sectors to provide equitable access to financial resources, mentorship, and educational opportunities. Monica Sanders, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2024 The cushioned midsole and lace-up closure provide optimal support and comfort while its metallic leather trim adds a fun pop of subtle color. Casey Clark, Peoplemag, 24 Feb. 2024 Their insights can provide valuable perspectives on the implications of your discipline choice. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 24 Feb. 2024 Connor Vanover and Noah Carter provided good defensive minutes from the frontcourt. Jackson Fuller, Kansas City Star, 24 Feb. 2024 To be able to rebuild that quickly enough to even provide basic care is going to take some time. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 24 Feb. 2024 The companies — Europe’s BAE Systems, Thales and Rheinmetall, and Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Northrop Grumman (NOC) in the United States — have all either provided weapons for the battlefield in Ukraine or signed agreements to do so. Anna Cooban, CNN, 24 Feb. 2024 Padding at the heel of the shoe eliminates the threat of blisters when first slipping them on; plus, a shock-absorbing midsole provides extra assurance that these are the shoes of your dreams. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 24 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'provide.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near provide

Cite this Entry

“Provide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


pro·​vide prə-ˈvīd How to pronounce provide (audio)
provided; providing
: to take care of beforehand
provide against a possible scarcity
: to state a condition or stipulation
the contract provided for 10 paid holidays
: to supply what is needed for support
provides for a large family
: to supply or furnish for use
cows provide milk
provider noun

Middle English providen "to provide," from Latin providēre, literally, "to see ahead," from pro- "ahead, forward" and vidēre "to see" — related to vision

More from Merriam-Webster on provide

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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