a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z |


PROV'I-DENCE, n. [Fr. from L. providentia.]

  1. The act of providing or preparing for future use or application. Providence for war is the best prevention of it. [Now little used.] – Bacon.
  2. Foresight; timely care; particularly, active foresight, or foresight accompanied with the procurement of what is necessary for future use, or with suitable preparation. How many of the troubles and perplexities of life proceed from want of providence.
  3. In theology, the care and superintendence which God exercises over his creatures. He that acknowledges a creation and denies a providence, involves himself in a palpable contradiction; for the same power which caused a thing to exist is necessary to continue its existence. Some persons admit a general providence, but deny a particular providence, not considering that a general providence consists of particulars. A belief in divine providence, is a source of great consolation to good men. By divine providence is often understood God himself.
  4. Prudence in the management of one's concerns or in private economy.


Foreseeing wants and making provision to supply them; forecasting; cautious; prudent in preparing for future exigences; as, a provident man; a provided animal. The parsimonious emmet, provident / Of future. – Milton. Orange is what Augustus was, / Brave, wary, provident and bold. – Waller.


Effected by the providence of God; referable to divine providence; proceeding from divine direction or superintendence; as, the providential contrivance of things; a providential escape from danger. How much are we indebted to God's unceasing providential care! – Woodward.


By means of God's providence. Every animal is providentially directed to the use of its proper weapons. – Ray.


With prudent foresight; with wise precaution in preparing for the future.


One who provides, furnishes or supplies; one that procures what is wanted. – Shak.


Procuring beforehand; supplying; stipulating.

PROV'INCE, n. [Fr. from L. provincia; usually supposed to be formed from pro and vinco, to conquer.]

  1. Among the Romans, a country of considerable extent, which being reduced under their dominion, was new-modeled, subjected to the command of an annual governor seat from Rome, and to such taxes and contributions as the Romans saw fit to impose. That part of France next to the Alps was a Roman province, and still bears the name Provence. – Encyc.
  2. Among the moderns, a country belonging to a kingdom or state, either by conquest or colonization, usually situated at a distance from the kingdom or state, but more or less dependent on it or subject to it. Thus formerly, the English colonies in North America were provinces of Great Britain, as Nova Scotia and Canada still are. The provinces of the Netherlands formerly belonged to the house of Austria and to Spain.
  3. A division of a kingdom or state, of considerable extent. In England, a division of the ecclesiastical state under the jurisdiction of an archbishop, of which there are two, the province of Canterbury and that of York.
  4. A region of country; in a general sense; a tract, a large extent. Over many a tract / Of heaven they march'd, and many a province wide. – Milton. They never look abroad into the provinces of the intellectual world. – Watts.
  5. The proper office or business of a person. It is the province of the judge to decide causes between individuals. The woman's province is to be careful in her economy, and chaste in her affection. – Tatler.


  1. Pertaining to a province or relating to it; as a provincial government; a provincial dialect.
  2. Appendant to the principal kingdom or state; as, provincial dominion; provincial territory. – Brown.
  3. Not polished; rude; as, provincial accent or manners. – Dryden.
  4. Pertaining to an ecclesiastical province, or to the jurisdiction of an archbishop; not ecumenical; as, a provincial synod. – Ayliffe.


  1. A spiritual governor. In catholic countries, one who has the direction of the several convents of a province. – Encyc.
  2. A person belonging to a province. – Burke.


A peculiar word or manner of speaking in a province or district of country remote from the principal country or from the metropolis. – Marsh.


Peculiarity of language in a province. – Warton.


To convert into a province. [Unusual.] – Howell.

PRO-VINE, v.i. [Fr. provignor; pro and vigne, a vine.]

To lay a stock or branch of a vine in the ground for propagation. – Johnson.

PROV-ING, ppr.

Trying; ascertaining; evincing; experiencing.

PRO-VI'SION, n. [s as z. Fr. from L. provisio, provideo. See Provide.]

  1. The act of providing or making previous preparation.
  2. Things provided; preparation; measures taken beforehand; either for security, defense or attack, or for the supply of wants. We make provision to defend ourselves from enemies; we make provision for war; we make provision for a voyage or for erecting a building; we make provision for the support of the poor. Government makes provision for its friends.
  3. Stores provided; stock; as, provision of victuals; provision of materials. – Knolles. South.
  4. Victuals; food; provender; all manner of eatables for man and beast; as, provisions for the table or for the family; provisions for an army. – Milton. Encyc.
  5. Previous stipulation; special enactment in a statute; terms or agreement made, or measures taken for a future exigency. In the law, no provision was made to abolish the barbarous customs of the Irish. – Davies. Papal provision, a previous nomination by the pope to a benefice before it became vacant, by which practice the rightful patron was deprived of his presentation. – Blackstone.


To supply with victuals or food. The ship was provisioned for a voyage of six months. The garrison was well provisioned.

PRO-VI'SION-AL, or PRO-VI'SION-A-RY, a. [Fr. provisionnel.]

Provided for present need or for the occasion; temporary established; temporary; as, a provisional government or regulation; a provisional treaty.


By way of provision; temporarily; for the present exigency. – Locke.


Provisional; provided for the occasion; not permanent. – Burke.


Supplied with food.


Furnishing with supplies of food.

PRO-VI'SO, n. [s as z. L. provisus, ablative proviso, it being provided.]

An article or clause in any statute, agreement, contract, grant or other writing, by which a condition is introduced; a conditional stipulation that affects an agreement, contract, law, grant, &c. The charter of the bank contains a proviso that the legislature may repeal it at their pleasure.

PRO-VI'SOR, n. [Fr. proviseur.]

  1. In church affairs, a person appointed by the pope to a benefice before the death of the incumbent, and to the prejudice of the rightful patron. Formerly the pope usurped the right of presenting to church livings, and it was his practice to nominate persons to benefices by anticipation, or before they became vacant; the person thus nominated was called a provisor. In England, this practice was restrained by statutes of Richard II. and Henry IV. More sharp and penal laws were devised against provisors; it being enacted that whoever disturbs any patron in the presentation to a living by virtue of any papal provision, such provisor shall pay fine and ransom to the king at his will, and be imprisoned till he renounces such provision. – Blackstone.
  2. The purveyor, steward or treasurer of a religious house. – Cowel.


  1. Making temporary provision; temporary. – State Papers.
  2. Containing a proviso or condition; conditional.