One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1with object To supply (a place, fleet, etc.) with a fresh stock of provisions. Also refl. Now chiefly historical.
2no object To procure or take in a fresh supply of provisions.
Late 15th century; earliest use found in William Caxton (1415x24–1492), printer, merchant, and diplomat. From re- + victual, originally after Middle French ravitailler.
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