pro·​vi·​sion·​al | \ prə-ˈvizh-nəl How to pronounce provisional (audio) , -ˈvi-zhə-nᵊl \

Definition of provisional

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: serving for the time being : temporary a provisional government



Definition of provisional (Entry 2 of 2)

: a postage stamp for use until a regular issue appears — compare definitive

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Other Words from provisional


provisionally adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for provisional

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of provisional in a Sentence

Adjective The government has given provisional approval for the use of the new drug. will form a provisional government until a new leader can be elected
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective After a steep drop in the first year of the pandemic, US birth rates rose only slightly in 2021, according to provisional data published Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Deidre Mcphillips, CNN, 24 May 2022 Drug overdose deaths have hit an all-time high over the past year, according to provisional federal data. Vanessa Etienne,, 13 May 2022 With 3,040 lives lost, Michigan recorded more drug overdose deaths than ever last year, breaking the previous record from 2020, according to new provisional data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press, 12 May 2022 More than 107,000 people are estimated to have died of drug overdoses across the U.S. last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday based on provisional data. Emily Alpert Reyesstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2022 Deaths from overdoses increased 15 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to provisional data released on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anahi Valenzuela, The Week, 11 May 2022 January 2021 was the only month in which, statewide, the number of deaths was greater than the number of births, according to provisional data from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Libby Seline, San Antonio Express-News, 10 May 2022 But provisional data through October suggests the nation is on track to see at least 105,000 overdose deaths in 2021 — up from 93,000 the year before. Mike Stobbe,, 12 Apr. 2022 Overall, deaths linked to synthetic opioids have nearly doubled in Americans of any age over the past two years, the provisional data showed. Byeli Cahan, ABC News, 12 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Instead, the board of elections will determine which outstanding provisional and absentee ballots are valid at the Sept. 27 board meeting, Perlatti said. cleveland, 13 Sep. 2021 Correll read the official election results, which have been certified following Election Day Nov. 5 and the Nov. 7 canvass of absentee and provisional ballots; 1,782 ballots were cast, including 10 absentee and 12 provisionals. David Anderson,, 13 Nov. 2019 His provisional sailed left, too, into the deep rough. Los Angeles Times, 18 July 2019 Election Day in this year’s statewide Democratic and Republican primary election was June 26, followed by an absentee ballot canvass June 28, a provisional ballot canvass Thursday and the final count of absentee and provisionals Friday. David Anderson, The Aegis, 6 July 2018 The Board of Elections, sitting as the Board of Canvassers, accepted 313, including 274 absentees and 39 provisionals. David Anderson, The Aegis, 6 July 2018 There’s going to be a paper recount of all the votes from early voting, election day, absentees and provisionals. Pamela Wood,, 10 July 2018 McComas picked up five more votes in the Republican race for District 34B, while Tilley earned six provisionals. David Anderson, The Aegis, 5 July 2018 Welcomed were 2018 spring provisionals Jennifer Bankston, Maggie Bopp, Megan Butler, Lauren Duncan, Jillian Gutierrez, Misty Jenkins, Danielle Looper and Amanda Toombs-Couvillon. Elizabeth Moore,, 27 May 2018 See More

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


1601, in the meaning defined above


1886, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for provisional

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The first known use of provisional was in 1601

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Dictionary Entries Near provisional

provision account


provisional licence

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Statistics for provisional

Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Provisional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for provisional


pro·​vi·​sion·​al | \ prə-ˈvi-zhə-nəl How to pronounce provisional (audio) \

Legal Definition of provisional

1 : provided for a temporary need : suitable or acceptable in the existing situation but subject to change or nullification a provisional government provisional custody of a minor
2 : of, relating to, or being temporary judicial acts or proceedings (as of attachment, injunction, or sequestration) allowed before final judgment to protect the interests of one or more parties to an action a provisional remedy

Other Words from provisional

provisionally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on provisional

Nglish: Translation of provisional for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of provisional for Arabic Speakers


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