One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A chief officer; a commander, governor, overseer; specifically = proveditor. Now chiefly historical.
2A purveyor, caterer, steward; = proveditor.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Richard Hakluyt (?1552–1616), geographer. Partly from Portuguese provedor, and partly from Spanish proveedor, † provedor. Compare provider.
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