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90s Slang You Should Know


[prov-i-duh ns] /ˈprɒv ɪ dəns/
(often initial capital letter) the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth.
(initial capital letter) God, especially when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence.
a manifestation of divine care or direction.
provident or prudent management of resources; prudence.
foresight; provident care.
Origin of providence
1300-50; Middle English < Latin prōvidentia foresight, forethought. See provident, -ence


[prov-i-duh ns] /ˈprɒv ɪ dəns/
a seaport in and the capital of Rhode Island, in the NE part, at the head of Narragansett Bay.

Rhode Island

[rohd] /roʊd/
a state of the NE United States, on the Atlantic coast: a part of New England. 1214 sq. mi. (3145 sq. km).
Capital: Providence.
Abbreviation: RI (for use with zip code), R.I.
Related forms
Rhode Islander, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for providence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It must have been that providence saw you stood in need of it, my dear.

    Madonna Mary Mrs. Oliphant
  • Who finds not providence all good and wise, Alike in what it gives, and what denies?

    Essay on Man Alexander Pope
  • "We must thank providence for this happy meeting," he replied.

    File No. 113 Emile Gaboriau
  • In her there was no weak wonder that providence had blessed her as she felt she was blessed.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • The hand of providence is everywhere; it will support and protect me.

British Dictionary definitions for providence


  1. (Christianity) God's foreseeing protection and care of his creatures
  2. such protection and care as manifest by some other force
a supposed manifestation of such care and guidance
the foresight or care exercised by a person in the management of his affairs or resources


(Christianity) God, esp as showing foreseeing care and protection of his creatures
Word Origin
C14: via French from Latin prōvidēntia, from prōvidēre to provide; see provide, -ence


a port in NE Rhode Island, capital of the state, at the head of Narragansett Bay: founded by Roger Williams in 1636. Pop: 176 365 (2003 est)

Rhode Island

a state of the northeastern US, bordering on the Atlantic: the smallest state in the US; mainly low-lying and undulating, with an indented coastline in the east and uplands in the northwest Capital: Providence. Pop: 1 076 164 (2003 est). Area: 2717 sq km (1049 sq miles) Abbreviations R.I, (with zip code) RI
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for providence

late 14c., "foresight, prudent anticipation," from Old French providence "divine providence, foresight" (12c.) and directly from Latin providentia "foresight, precaution, foreknowledge," from providentem (nominative providens), present participle of providere (see provide).

Providence (usually capitalized) "God as beneficent caretaker," first recorded c.1600, from earlier use of the word for "God's beneficient care or guidance" (14c.), short for divine providence, etc. The noun in Latin occasionally had a similar sense.

Rhode Island

U.S. state, the region is traditionally said to have been named by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano when he passed through in 1524, based on an imagined similarity between modern Block Island and the Greek Isle of Rhodes. More likely from Roodt Eylandt, the name Dutch explorer Adriaen Block gave to Block Island c.1614, literally "red island," so called for the color of its cliffs. Under this theory, the name was altered by 17c. English settlers by influence of the Greek island name (see Rhodes), and then extended to the mainland part of the colony. Block Island later (by 1685) was renamed for the Dutch explorer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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providence in Culture

Providence definition

Capital of Rhode Island and the largest city in the state, located in the northeastern part of the state.

Note: Port of entry and major trading center.
Note: Roger Williams founded Providence in the early seventeenth century after he was exiled from the colony of Massachusetts. He named it in gratitude for “God's merciful providence.”

Rhode Island definition

State in the northeastern United States; one of the New England states. Bordered by Massachusetts to the north and east, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, and Connecticut to the west. Its capital and largest city is Providence.

Note: One of the thirteen colonies.
Note: After he was banished from Massachusetts for speaking out in favor of religious toleration, Roger Williams established the first settlement in the area at Providence in the early seventeenth century.
Note: Rhode Island is the smallest state of the United States.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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