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 legislature Current Biography
: to take precautionary measures
provide for the common defense U.S. Constitution

Example Sentences

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 State media outlet Belta reported his death, citing a ministry spokesperson, but also did not provide further details. Bryan Pietsch, Washington Post, 27 Nov. 2022 Stroud would need his defense to offer some aid, but Jim Knowles’ unit wouldn’t provide him with it. Stephen Means, cleveland, 26 Nov. 2022 The fire department did not provide further details on the incident. CBS News, 25 Nov. 2022 Dan Barr, a lawyer for Ms. Mayes, said the lawsuit doesn’t provide any facts to support its claims. Jan Wolfe, WSJ, 23 Nov. 2022 Sending those in crisis to jail and hospitals is costly, time-consuming and doesn’t provide the long-term care people need, Ross VanVranken, executive director of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, said in a statement. Blake Apgar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 Nov. 2022 As the bank’s most basic checking account offering, Essential accounts do not provide interest. Mia Taylor, Fortune, 22 Nov. 2022 Governor Tate Reeves and other Republican leaders have killed proposals to expand Medicaid, which primarily covers low-income workers whose jobs don’t provide private health insurance. Michael Goldberg,, 22 Nov. 2022 Coach Jim Harbaugh did not provide any updates Monday. Tony Garcia, Detroit Free Press, 22 Nov. 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.

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 6 Dec. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on provide

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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