providence

1 of 2

noun

prov·​i·​dence ˈprä-və-dən(t)s How to pronounce providence (audio)
-ˌden(t)s
1
a
often capitalized : divine guidance or care
b
capitalized : God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny
2
: the quality or state of being provident

Providence

2 of 2

geographical name

Prov·​i·​dence ˈprä-və-dən(t)s How to pronounce Providence (audio)
-ˌden(t)s
city in northern Rhode Island that is the state capital and a port at the head of the Providence River (a northern arm of Narragansett Bay) population 178,042

Example Sentences

Noun practicing its customary providence, the snowbound family was able to make the meager stores last until help arrived had the providence to lay in supplies before the storm hit
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Yes, China has a heatwave causing some plants in Sichuan providence to close/limit hours as electricity is directed to air conditioners. Brendan Ahern, Forbes, 18 Aug. 2022 McWilliams, who made what seemed like his 100th all-name team this offseason, alluded to providence for the defensive line this season but was mum on exactly what to expect when the Blazers open the season against Alabama A&M at Protective Stadium. Evan Dudley, al, 5 Aug. 2022 State media reported the death count and said rescuers were arriving to the providence on helicopters. Landon Mion, Fox News, 22 June 2022 So it’s an accident—maybe an accident caused by providence. Dennis Lim, The New Yorker, 15 May 2022 Directing the classic Russian play, which deals with the loss of one’s home and motherland, is another bit of providence. Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2022 Nevertheless, the fleeting encounter of the emperor and the philosopher was the stuff of providence—as if the arc of history had intersected with the designs of history’s philosopher-architect. Jeffrey Collins, WSJ, 18 Mar. 2022 In the familiar European lore vampires can be repelled with a crucifix, scalded with holy water or burned by sunlight, a longstanding symbol of providence. Roy Schwartz, CNN, 2 Apr. 2022 To him, there’s providence behind the symmetry of the circumstances of his first starts at LSU and Auburn. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, 17 Nov. 2021 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin providentia, from provident-, providens

First Known Use

Noun

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of providence was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near providence

provide for

providence

Providence

Cite this Entry

“Providence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/providence. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

providence

noun

prov·​i·​dence ˈpräv-əd-ən(t)s How to pronounce providence (audio)
-ə-ˌden(t)s
1
a
often capitalized : divine guidance or care
b
capitalized : God as the guide and protector of all human beings
2
: the quality or state of being provident : prudence

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