from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To furnish; supply: provide food and shelter for a family.
- transitive v. To make available; afford: a room that provides ample sunlight through French windows.
- transitive v. To set down as a stipulation: an agreement that provides deadlines for completion of the work.
- transitive v. Archaic To make ready ahead of time; prepare.
- intransitive v. To take measures in preparation: provided for the common defense of the states in time of war.
- intransitive v. To supply means of subsistence: She provides for her family by working in a hospital.
- intransitive v. To make a stipulation or condition: The Constitution provides for a bicameral legislature.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To make a living; earn money for necessities.
- v. To act to prepare for something.
- v. To determine the form of some situations, by means of a stipulation or condition.
- v. To give what is needed or desired, especially basic needs.
- v. To furnish with, cause to be present.
- v. To make possible or attainable.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To look out for in advance; to procure beforehand; to get, collect, or make ready for future use; to prepare.
- transitive v. To supply; to afford; to contribute.
- transitive v. To furnish; to supply; -- formerly followed by of, now by with.
- transitive v. To establish as a previous condition; to stipulate.
- transitive v. To foresee.
- transitive v. To appoint to an ecclesiastical benefice before it is vacant. See Provisor.
- intransitive v. To procure supplies or means in advance; to take measures beforehand in view of an expected or a possible future need, especially a danger or an evil; -- followed by against or for
- intransitive v. To stipulate previously; to condition.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To foresee; look forward to.
- To procure beforehand; get, collect, or make ready for future use; prepare.
- To furnish; supply: now often followed by with, but formerly also by of.
- To make ready; prepare.
- To make or lay down as a previous arrangement, guaranty, or provision; make a previous condition, supposition, or understanding: as, the agreement provides that the party shall incur no loss.
- Eccles., to grant the right to be in future presented to a benefice which is not vacant at the time of the grant. See provision, 8.
- To procure or furnish supplies, means of defense, or the like: as, to provide liberally for the table.
- To take measures for counteracting or escaping something: often followed by against or for.
- To make ready; prepare.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. make a possibility or provide opportunity for; permit to be attainable or cause to remain
- v. determine (what is to happen in certain contingencies), especially by including a proviso condition or stipulation
- v. give what is desired or needed, especially support, food or sustenance
- v. take measures in preparation for
- v. give something useful or necessary to
- v. supply means of subsistence; earn a living
- v. mount or put up
Middle English providen, from Latin prōvidēre, to provide for : prō-, forward; see pro-1 + vidēre, to see; see weid- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin prōvideō ("foresee, act with foresight"). (Wiktionary)