pro·​vi·​so | \ prə-ˈvī-(ˌ)zō How to pronounce proviso (audio) \
plural provisos also provisoes

Definition of proviso

1 : an article or clause (as in a contract) that introduces a condition
2 : a conditional stipulation

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Examples of proviso in a Sentence

He accepted the job with one proviso: he would work alone. released the drunken revelers with the proviso that they behave for the remainder of the Mardi Gras

Recent Examples on the Web

The federal government guaranteed construction loans for Levitt & Sons with a whites-only proviso. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "What you should know about race-based affirmative action and diversity in schools," 3 July 2018 One exception is the proviso, codified in international law, to avoid potentially harmful interplanetary exchanges of biological material that could spark virulent epidemics on Earth or wipe out fragile alien biospheres. Leonard David, Scientific American, "As Space Becomes a Busy Place, NASA Bolsters Its Planet-Contamination Police," 3 July 2018 Here is a sample of what’s in store this summer, with the proviso that dates are subject to change. Gary Thompson,, "Summer movies 2018: Here's when 'Ocean's 8,' 'Incredibles 2,' 'Jurassic World' and more hit theaters," 6 June 2018 Car company Tesla would foot the $109,629 installation cost with the proviso that of the 39 stations, 22 would be available only to Tesla owners. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Tesla proposes installing 39 free car-charging stations in Elgin," 18 May 2018 In its forecasts, the EU included the important proviso that it was based on a status quo, which is likely to change in light of Brexit developments. Washington Post, "EU predicts bright outlook for economy, tougher times for UK," 5 May 2018 Automakers had originally agreed to the rules with the proviso that the standards for the later years, 2022 to 2025, would be subject to a review. New York Times, "Automakers Sought Looser Rules. Now They Hope to Stop Trump From Going Too Far.," 9 May 2018 One can’t help but wonder if also buried somewhere in the fine print was a proviso that a gilded hangar be constructed on school grounds for the emperor’s gold chariot. Maria Panaritis,, "'Billionaire bonanza': Today, it's $25 million for Abington schools from Stephen Schwarzman. But at what cost? | Maria Panaritis," 4 Apr. 2018 The deal was struck late last year but Mauro had two important provisos: that Berg continue to support specific charities that Carmelo's championed, and that Mauro could come in and eat pasta on the house twice a week for the rest of his life. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "First look: New Carmelo’s is on its way to new greatness," 4 Apr. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for proviso

Middle English, from Medieval Latin proviso quod provided that

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Statistics for proviso

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Time Traveler for proviso

The first known use of proviso was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for proviso



English Language Learners Definition of proviso

: a condition that must be accepted in order for someone to agree to do something


pro·​vi·​so | \ prə-ˈvī-zō How to pronounce proviso (audio) \
plural provisos or provisoes

Legal Definition of proviso

1 : an article or clause (as in a statute or contract) that introduces a condition
2 : a conditional stipulation

History and Etymology for proviso

Medieval Latin proviso quod provided that

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on proviso

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for proviso

Spanish Central: Translation of proviso

Nglish: Translation of proviso for Spanish Speakers

Comments on proviso

What made you want to look up proviso? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


behavior toward others

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