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.
Recent Examples on the Web The department did not provide any additional information about the arrest. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 6 July 2024 Today’s easy recipe for Non-alcoholic Sangria Punch is full of fresh fruits that provide nutrients and antioxidants to decrease your risk of cancer. Bethany Thayer, Detroit Free Press, 6 July 2024 This monitor provides a crystal-clear image of your baby. Laura Lu, Ms, Parents, 6 July 2024 Authorities on Saturday confirmed to News 12 New Jersey that the mother later died at the hospital, but did not provide an update on her kids’ conditions. Jessica Schladebeck, New York Daily News, 6 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for provide 

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 18 Jul. 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

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