Definition of provender in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Animal fodder.

    ‘to raise the prices of provender for cattle, importation has been severely curtailed’
    • ‘Running carrier services efficiently involved considerable expenditure on horses together with their equipment and provender.’
    • ‘The owner attached some provender to a rod, and suspended it over the animal's head. The animal, seeing these viands almost within reach, stepped gayly forward to consume them.’
    • ‘Current costs consisted of provender, i.e. fodder and bedding, the pay of the workers who looked after the horses, and shoeing.’
    1. 1.1humorous Food.
      ‘there's no one to carry your provender in brown paper bags to the boot of your car’
      • ‘His windows encompass most of his world; for the rest, there is the weekly Variety that his nephew, Ben, delivers punctually every Wednesday along with a week's provender.’
      • ‘We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.’
      • ‘This possibility was very real, for the amount of provender they bore would not have fed them for more than a week.’
      • ‘As the rocket and purslane disappeared, I began to forage Greenmarket for fall provender.’
      • ‘The children refuse all human food until they are given newly shelled beans, upon which provender they subsist until they learn to eat bread.’


Middle English: from Old French provendre, based on an alteration of Latin praebenda things to be supplied (see prebend).