pro·​vi·​sion | \ prə-ˈvi-zhən How to pronounce provision (audio) \

Definition of provision

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the act or process of providing
b : the fact or state of being prepared beforehand
c : a measure taken beforehand to deal with a need or contingency : preparation made provision for replacements
2 : a stock of needed materials or supplies especially : a stock of food usually used in plural


pro·​vi·​sion | \ prə-ˈvi-zhən How to pronounce provision (audio) \
provisioned; provisioning\ prə-​ˈvi-​zhə-​niŋ How to pronounce provision (audio) , -​ˈvizh-​niŋ \

Definition of provision (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to supply with needed materials (such as food) : to supply with provisions

Examples of provision in a Sentence

Noun The President, of all people, should know how difficult it is to take care of basic things like, say, prescription drugs for the elderly or shelter from the storm—especially if your government places a low priority on the efficient provision of public services and a high priority on the care and feeding of cronies … — Joe Klein, Time, 6 Feb. 2006 Nothing was overlooked. There was a fallback position, a fail-safe provision, for any contingency. — Gary Wills, New York Times Book Review, 1 Apr. 2001 They wheedled the American Congress into awarding entry terms more favorable than those enjoyed by any other state, including two unique provisions: Texas and not the federal government would own all public lands, and the state would retain forever the right to divide into five smaller states if that proved attractive, each one to have two senators and a proportionate number of representatives. — James A. Michener, Texas, 1985 Provisions should be made for regular inspections. He made provisions to donate part of his fortune to charity after he died. You should make provision for emergencies. I carried my provisions in one large backpack. We brought enough provisions to last the entire trip. Verb Few modern eaters consume such a wide range of plants, fruits, and animals, even when provisioned by a vast international or multi-ethnic marketplace. — Donna R. Gabaccia, We Are What We Eat, 1998 But biographies, like translations, are rarely provisioned to last forever, for they reflect the world of their authors as much as their subjects. — Morris Dickstein, New York Times Book Review, 1 Feb. 1998 As the cubs began to feed more regularly on meat, she provisioned them with hares, hyraxes, an Egyptian mongoose, and guinea fowl. — John A. Cavallo, Natural History, February 1990 They stopped to provision the ship. the climbers were sufficiently provisioned to withstand just about any mountaineering emergency See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The fate of the provision was still not certain given the slim majority that Democrats hold in the Senate. Emily Flitter, New York Times, 28 July 2022 Environmental advocates worry that codifying the cash in lieu provision could result in more developers requesting that route. Kate Selig,, 26 July 2022 Nonetheless, the success of the provision will depend on how platforms interpret and invest in these assessments, and even more so on how well the commission and national regulators will enforce these obligations. Wired, 9 July 2022 Cooper on Thursday called the ban a violation of the Florida constitution’s privacy provision. Doha Madani, NBC News, 30 June 2022 Their key output was a series of maps that showed a huge variation in the provision of resources and amenities. Laurie Winkless, Forbes, 20 June 2022 With facilities also in Ivory Coast and Togo, St. Camille fills a gap across West Africa in mental healthcare provision, left by the state and even the humanitarian sector, said Dr. Jibril Abdulmalik. Adie Vanessa Offiong, CNN, 2 June 2022 Ivey vetoed a one-year delay in the retention provision last year. al, 5 Apr. 2022 Every Republican lawmaker, except one, voted for the legislation in a deal with Wolf, who had sought the mail-in voting provision. Marc Levy, ajc, 29 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The ability to securely provision access to utility providers, telecom companies and payroll providers to verify payment history, employment and pay is crucial to securing access to housing funds and affordable credit. Don Cardinal, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Skinny, poorly nourished plains females, which have fewer resources to provision their eggs and tadpoles, seem more hot to trot with outsiders. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 7 July 2022 For instance, if activity spikes regularly occur in the main financial database at the end of the quarter, AIOps and automation acting in tandem can autonomously calibrate and provision the load. Akhilesh Tripathi, Forbes, 13 June 2022 The modern enterprise likely uses hundreds of different applications across its tech stack, presenting a significant burden for IT, HR and security teams to quickly onboard and provision new hires. Rich Waldron, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 This enables customers to easily provision a cluster with predefined configurations, policies, and workloads. Janakiram Msv, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 VMware has built Tanzu Mission Control to provision and manage external Kubernetes clusters, including those running on Azure. Janakiram Msv, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 Its pleas were usually unheeded, leaving the Confederation badly in arrears and unable to provision the army. Jay Cost, WSJ, 28 Oct. 2021 However, for production environments, customers need VMware vSphere 7.0 or above to provision and manage clusters. Janakiram Msv, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'provision.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of provision


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


1809, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for provision

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin provision-, provisio act of providing, from Latin, foresight, from providēre to see ahead — more at provide

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best packing cubes.

Learn More About provision

Time Traveler for provision

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near provision



provision account

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for provision

Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Provision.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for provision


pro·​vi·​sion | \ prə-ˈvi-zhən How to pronounce provision (audio) \

Kids Definition of provision

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a stock or store of supplies and especially of food usually used in pl. We have provisions to last us a week.
2 : the act of supplying the provision of food
3 : condition entry 1 sense 2 the provisions of a contract
4 : something done beforehand Make provision for emergencies.


provisioned; provisioning

Kids Definition of provision (Entry 2 of 2)

: to supply with things that are needed


pro·​vi·​sion | \ prə-ˈvi-zhən How to pronounce provision (audio) \

Legal Definition of provision

: a stipulation (as a clause in a statute or contract) made beforehand

More from Merriam-Webster on provision

Nglish: Translation of provision for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of provision for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about provision


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!