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

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 The kitchen provides a large island and a pantry with a second refrigerator. Allie Beth Allman & Associates, Dallas News, 18 May 2023 Together, the two cases provided enough cause for concern to alert public health officials, and Caplan was the lead author on the CDC’s new report. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 May 2023 The indictment did not provide any further information about him. Margaret Stafford, USA TODAY, 17 May 2023 Boston Medical Center provided a $1-million, zero-interest loan in support of a Roxbury grocery store, and helped secure the money needed for Samad and Yassin to purchase the property. Tiana Woodard,, 17 May 2023 Rollins not only violated department policy, but also potentially broke the law when misleading investigators about providing false statements to the IG about leaking the information to the Boston Herald reporter. Luke Barr, ABC News, 17 May 2023 Coined in 1936, the law aims to provide a solid framework for predicting cost declines as a function of production over time. Jane Thier, Fortune, 17 May 2023 The Colorado River system provides water and electricity to more than 40 million people in seven states, as well as irrigation for Western farmers. Ella Nilsen, CNN, 17 May 2023 In resort towns across Mexico, the hospitality industry is celebrating all things agave, the sacred native succulent that provides the nectar for tequila, mezcal and other spirits. Lisa Futterman, Chicago Tribune, 17 May 2023 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 29 May. 2023.

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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