Definition of provide in English:



  • 1with object Make available for use; supply.

    ‘these clubs provide a much appreciated service for this area’
    • ‘The group is active in repairing schools and providing educational supplies.’
    • ‘Royal Engineers were also looking at renovating the existing water system and providing a more reliable supply.’
    • ‘Additional monies available should be provided when the heat need is greatest.’
    • ‘He added that future non-vocational programmes could be provided if money became available.’
    • ‘More detailed information on the particular elements of the projects will be provided as it becomes available.’
    • ‘There is no stipend, but college credit is available and lunch is provided.’
    • ‘Our aim was to raise awareness of the benefits and support available to those who provide unpaid care.’
    • ‘What childcare is available is provided informally by relatives who are prepared to assist for a few hours a day.’
    • ‘Already, the school has provided clothes and supplies for the Wilkerson children.’
    • ‘They provided supplies and even guides, but they would not take up arms against the British.’
    • ‘Plans to provide the first gas supply to an area of Jaywick could be in the pipeline.’
    • ‘The funds have provided a supply of sturdy refuse bags to collect the debris, as well as litter pickers for everyone taking part.’
    • ‘The object would not be to make money but to provide a supply of quality classic cars for them both to drive.’
    • ‘A top US theme park was also provided with additional power supply equipment.’
    • ‘Members of the Ladies Club provided a wonderful service throughout the day with refreshments available at all times.’
    • ‘She dealt with generator problems, which provided her daily supply of fresh drinking water.’
    • ‘It was turned into a pond in order to provide a ready supply of water should there be a fire nearby.’
    • ‘He expressed appreciation for the medical supplies provided by Japan to Taiwan during the SARS crisis.’
    • ‘An office, canteen, library, weigh bridge, roads and water supply connections would be provided.’
    • ‘A variety of edibles and drink was provided and Joe Morrisroe supplied the music for the occasion.’
    supply, give, issue, furnish, lay out, come up with, dispense, bestow, impart, produce, yield, bring forth, bear, deliver, donate, contribute, pledge, advance, spare, part with, allocate, distribute, allot, assign, put forward, put up, proffer, present, extend, render
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    1. 1.1provide someone with Equip or supply someone with (something useful or necessary)
      ‘we were provided with a map of the area’
      • ‘A submarine fleet is still essential in providing Canada with the necessary means to defend the world's longest coastline.’
      • ‘And his natural aggression provided David Dunn with the cover necessary to enable the 22-year-old to showcase his talents on the big stage he has always craved.’
      • ‘This form is used to provide you with the necessary information and to obtain your consent.’
      • ‘It is not only our senses, but our very intuitive faculties that cease to provide us with the necessary adaptive knowledge.’
      • ‘The Commissioner identified the reasons for fixing the airport charges and that included providing Dublin with the necessary resources to develop its infrastructure so as to avoid congestion and bottlenecks.’
      • ‘It was her role as a graduate trainee at Reuters, the first female to be taken on in this post, that provided Anne with the discipline necessary for writing a book.’
      • ‘The soft drinks were to have provided him with a safe drinking supply.’
      • ‘Sweden could provide France with the necessary military expertise.’
      • ‘But the Census results provide us with reliable and useful details on which local strategies can be based.’
      • ‘While we are provided with all the necessary information, the underlying feelings are regrettably absent.’
      equip, furnish, issue, supply, outfit
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    2. 1.2 Present or yield (something useful)
      ‘neither will provide answers to these problems’
      • ‘The contest should provide some useful pointers for the upcoming winter campaigns.’
      • ‘What is certain is that this rhetoric provides a useful cover for a very traditional policy.’
      • ‘This site was set up by parents of a boy with eczema and provides useful information and support for other parents.’
      • ‘The chapter on pearl millet provides a useful introduction to this crop.’
      • ‘The present case provides an illustration of the unjust consequences of such a principle.’
      • ‘The recent release of the genome sequence for maize provided a particularly useful data set for this analysis.’
      • ‘It provides a useful starting point to determine where money is being channelled.’
      • ‘In addition, the search page provides useful examples of how to obtain specific data.’
      • ‘I believe that the use of the software by a large group of student users provided useful feedback to the developer.’
      • ‘Conference speakers also provided some useful ideas for dealing with the agreement-making process.’
      • ‘The present volume provides a valuable collection of data on the selected plants.’
      • ‘In this way, the report provides a useful snap shot of the overall state of the networking market.’
      • ‘According to Cameron, Sun Mircosystems provided a useful point of reference in the area of industry partnerships.’
      • ‘This provides an example of useful science as contrasted with practical knowledge.’
      • ‘This map provides a useful framework for analyzing the DNA in each chromosome.’
      • ‘According to Paul Neville the inquiry into regional radio provides a useful model.’
      make available, present, offer, afford, accord, give, add, bring, yield, impart, bestow, confer, lend
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  • 2provide forno object Make adequate preparation for (a possible event)

    ‘new qualifications must provide for changes in technology’
    • ‘He triggered the National Response Plan, which provided for a cabinet level task force, the day the hurricane hit.’
    • ‘He says public transport has also been provided for under the plan.’
    • ‘Regarding the individual area development plan, does zoning provide for parks, playgrounds and shopping nearby?’
    • ‘The plan also provided for the development of an incinerator in the Galway area as well as a land fill in North Connaught.’
    • ‘The planning inspector said she had seen an original plan that provided for twelve en suite double bedrooms at first floor level.’
    • ‘So we are preparing and providing for the kind of investment into the modernization needs of the country and readiness needs of the country.’
    • ‘She also said that the plan should provide for a series of free-standing buildings carefully sited and framing open space.’
    • ‘The plan is expected to provide for up to 70,000 long-stay residents who were illegally charged.’
    • ‘The plan for the huge event provides for 25 miles of electric cable and a 50,000 gallon water supply.’
    • ‘The plan provides for a framework for the management of acid sulfate soils.’
    prepare, allow, make provision, make preparations, be prepared, anticipate, arrange, make arrangements, get ready, plan, make plans, cater
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    1. 2.1 Supply sufficient money to ensure the maintenance of (someone)
      ‘Emma was handsomely provided for in Frannie's will’
      • ‘Its main aim was to ensure pension provision was provided for employees.’
      • ‘However, a council spokesman said it was taking immediate action to ensure a continuation of the support was provided for victims of domestic violence.’
      • ‘At last we will be providing for the needs of children in the 21st century to ensure that they do not become couch potatoes.’
      • ‘To me, I am pro-life because I respect the fact that a child should only be brought in to a world where it can be looked after and provided for sufficiently.’
      • ‘Host families meet the costs of providing for the children during their Irish stay.’
      feed, nurture, nourish, give food to, provide board for
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    2. 2.2 (of a law) enable or allow (something to be done)
      ‘the Bill provides for the setting of guaranteed service standards’
      • ‘Did the Crown act arbitrarily by bringing this matter directly before a Provincial Court Judge in the total absence of a statutory enactment which allows or provides for such a practice?’
      • ‘The court is recognising that part of the reasonable and proper costs of providing for the plaintiff's needs is to enable her to make a present, or series of presents, to her mother.’
      • ‘Many States, particularly under the pressure arising from the conclusion of treaties setting out international crimes, have passed legislation providing for jurisdiction based on nationality.’
      • ‘Federal law provides for special jury selection procedures in capital cases.’
      • ‘The law of defamation provides for the defences of fair comment and of qualified privilege in appropriate cases.’
  • 3with clause Stipulate in a will or other legal document.

    ‘the order should be varied to provide that there would be no contact with the father’
    • ‘It provides that it is unlawful for a public authority to act in a way which is incompatible with a Convention right.’
    • ‘The mortgage provides that the mortgagor shall pay all municipal taxes as they fall due.’
    • ‘General Condition 32 provided that all disputes were to be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Texas.’
    • ‘This material plainly has to reach the expert and the clause provides that it should do so within a specific time limit.’
    • ‘That clause provides that a car must have lamps exhibiting a white light in front and a red light in the rear.’
    stipulate, lay down, have as a condition, make it a condition, require, order, ordain, demand, prescribe, state, set out, specify
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  • 4provide someone toChristian Church
    historical with object Appoint an incumbent to (a benefice).

    • ‘Sometime after April 18, 1378, he was provided to the bishopric by Urban, and consecrated before March 26, 1379.’
    • ‘Laing was Rector of Tannadice in Angus, Vicar of Linlithgow, and Rector of Newlands in the diocese of Glasgow when he was provided to the See of Glasgow.’


Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘prepare to do, get ready’): from Latin providere ‘foresee, attend to’, from pro- ‘before’ + videre ‘to see’.