Definition of providential in US English:



  • 1Occurring at a favorable time; opportune.

    ‘thanks to that providential snowstorm, the attack had been repulsed’
    • ‘A high-voltage wire snapped and fell on the busy road on Monday afternoon, and pedestrians and motorists had a providential escape.’
    • ‘Buena Vista Social Club's nomination last year was welcomed as a sign of providential change in the academy.’
    • ‘James was portrayed as a victim of the affair, and attempts were made to turn the scandal to his advantage by presenting images of the plot's providential discovery and James's personal involvement as the avenger of Overbury's murder.’
    • ‘In such a situation, the possibility of going away on an international residency presents itself as a very real relief, a providential oasis or retreat to an artist.’
    • ‘It was providential that he purchased this exceptional pen and he took the trouble to research its history.’
    opportune, advantageous, favourable, auspicious, propitious, heaven-sent, welcome, golden, good, right, lucky, happy, fortunate, benign, felicitous, timely, well timed, ripe, convenient, expedient
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  • 2Involving divine foresight or intervention.

    ‘God's providential care for each of us’
    • ‘On the contrary, the experience of Christ as Creator points us to particular creatures as those objects of God's providential care without which our understanding of the divine identity is impoverished.’
    • ‘We can trust that everything that happens in our lives is under the providential care of God.’
    • ‘The word ‘secular’ also alludes to the moral call to homo faber to share in the divine providential ordering of creation.’
    • ‘It is deep time that opens a new view of nature, which if it lacks the Divine fiat, the miraculous and providential, is no less sublime in its own way.’
    • ‘As the war dragged on, Lincoln came to believe, despite his skeptical outlook, that a providential purpose was at work: the war was divine retribution for our long acceptance of slavery.’
    divine, heaven-sent, miraculous
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Mid 17th century: from providence, on the pattern of evidential.