prov·​i·​dence | \ ˈprä-və-dən(t)s How to pronounce providence (audio) , -ˌden(t)s \

Definition of providence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a often capitalized : divine guidance or care
b capitalized : God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny
2 : the quality or state of being provident


geographical name
Prov·​i·​dence | \ ˈprä-və-dən(t)s How to pronounce Providence (audio) , -ˌden(t)s \

Definition of Providence (Entry 2 of 2)

city in northern Rhode Island that is the state capital and a port at the head of the Providence River (a northern arm of Narragansett Bay) population 178,042

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Synonyms & Antonyms for providence

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of providence in a Sentence

Noun practicing its customary providence, the snowbound family was able to make the meager stores last until help arrived had the providence to lay in supplies before the storm hit
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Louisianians know all about weathering hard providences. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Rick Scott on state bailouts: 'Asking Floridians to pay for the incompetency of governors like Andrew Cuomo'," 13 May 2020 If someone is meant to be in your intimate circle, then divine providence may give you a clue in the week ahead. oregonlive, "Horoscope for May 10, 2020: Virgo, avoid major purchases; Scorpio, accept changes with grace," 10 May 2020 And then by some divine providence, suddenly the money showed up one day, and from the moment of that happening to us shooting was a very fast period, three months. Tyler Aquilina,, "Watch Angus Macfadyen reprise his Braveheart role in Robert the Bruce clip," 24 Apr. 2020 Christianity Today erred, not in pointing out President Trump’s unchristian behavior, but in calling for his removal from office, which might well be construed as questioning God’s providence, as did Job’s friends in the Book of Job. WSJ, "Trump and the Support of Evangelical Voters," 15 Jan. 2020 Many conservatives view their plans as blessed by divine providence. Bobby Jindal, WSJ, "Heed Biden’s Call for Bipartisan Civility," 2 Mar. 2020 His eldest son, Tagg, suggests that there is an element of providence in his father’s circumstances. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "Mitt Romney Returns to the National Stage in the Senate Impeachment Trial," 21 Jan. 2020 Medved takes special interest in how fate or providence operated for the good of the country. Washington Post, "Searching for signs that God blessed America," 9 Jan. 2020 Our founders invoked a firm reliance on divine providence. NBC News, "Transcript: The Drafting Board," 9 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'providence.' 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 providence


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for providence


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin providentia, from provident-, providens

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Time Traveler for providence

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

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Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for providence


prov·​i·​dence | \ ˈprä-və-dəns How to pronounce providence (audio) \

Kids Definition of providence

1 often capitalized : help or care from God or heaven
2 capitalized : God as the guide and protector of all human beings

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