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 definition of that proviso could have been stretched to meet all practical requirements (33 years later, the Star Wars technology is nowhere near useful deployment). The Economist, "Reagan and Gorbachev’s tantalising nuclear talks in Reykjavik," 15 Aug. 2019 More troubling is the proviso that the cooling-off period applies only to matters related to a commissioner’s former portfolio. The Economist, "A consulting firm founded by an outgoing commissioner tests the rules," 8 Aug. 2019 Looked pretty good too, with the proviso that quarterbacks are supposed to look good when they can’t be tackled and contact is minimal. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "What happened at Raiders’ camp — minus Antonio Brown," 20 Aug. 2019 But the Patriots have pledged not to franchise Brady, and there’s a proviso in his new contract that prohibits them from doing so. Christopher L. Gasper,, "Here’s the deal: Tom Brady’s Patriot days could be over after this season," 8 Aug. 2019 Ideally, states should be given broad authority to reform their private individual markets, with one important proviso: Conditions must get better for people who have health problems. Marie Fishpaw, National Review, "A Health Plan for President Trump," 1 Aug. 2019 Panda diplomacy is typically a 10-year loan, costing the host nation some $1 million annually, with the proviso that any offspring remain the property of the People’s Republic. Charlie Campbell, Time, "'I Get to Hug Them All the Time.' What It's Like to Take Care of a Pair of History-Making Panda Cubs," 31 July 2019 But the Trump administration recently ditched that proviso and started talking to its long-term enemy directly. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "Peace might be breaking out in America's longest ever war," 9 July 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for proviso

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for proviso

Last Updated

18 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Proviso.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for proviso


How to pronounce proviso (audio)

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

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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).


not agreeing with established beliefs

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