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 Legislators had left the state’s school funding formula unchanged but agreed to provide a $20 million bonus in 2018-2019, then a $30 million bonus in 2019-2020. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Dunleavy administration continues legal battle against Alaska Legislature but releases $30 million for public schools," 11 Feb. 2020 The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday ordered Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Google owner Alphabet Inc. to provide detailed information about their acquisitions of fledgling firms over the past 10 years. ... Deepa Seetharaman, WSJ, "FTC Expands Antitrust Investigation Into Big Tech," 11 Feb. 2020 Next week's games will continue to provide more clarity. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "XFL power rankings: After Week 1, controversy already surrounds Marc Trestman-led Vipers," 11 Feb. 2020 Steve Guthrie, an assistant chief deputy for the Marshall County sheriff, declined to provide details of the case or release the name of the slain person. Ashley Remkus |, al, "Officers on leave as investigation of deadly shooting continues in Marshall County," 11 Feb. 2020 The team has a large number of nonroster relievers in camp, too, to provide depth at Triple-A Las Vegas. Susan Slusser,, "A’s 5 big questions for spring training: Who’s on second? Khris Davis OK?," 10 Feb. 2020 Climate communication scientists use these same principles of messaging – visual, local and dramatic – to provide facts that will get the public’s attention. Risa Palm, The Conversation, "‘Sea-level rise won’t affect my house’ – even flood maps don’t sway Florida coastal residents," 7 Feb. 2020 Draining mangrove swamps to make way for aquaculture is even more harmful to the atmosphere than felling rainforest to provide pasture for cattle. The Economist, "Brain v prawn How artificial shrimps could change the world," 6 Feb. 2020 The school used the additional funds largely to provide better support for its student-athletes. Brett Vito, Denton Record-Chronicle, "UNT athletic department hits key milestone by finishing with budget surplus," 6 Feb. 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

Cite this Entry

“Provide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 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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