Definition of provender in English:



  • 1Animal fodder.

    • ‘Current costs consisted of provender, i.e. fodder and bedding, the pay of the workers who looked after the horses, and shoeing.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1humorous Food.
      • ‘This possibility was very real, for the amount of provender they bore would not have fed them for more than a week.’
      • ‘We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


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