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[prov-i-den-shuh l] /ˌprɒv ɪˈdɛn ʃəl/
of, relating to, or resulting from divine providence:
providential care.
opportune, fortunate, or lucky:
a providential event.
Origin of providential
1640-50; < Latin prōvidenti(a) providence + -al1
Related forms
providentially, adverb
nonprovidential, adjective
nonprovidentially, adverb
unprovidential, adjective
unprovidentially, adverb
Can be confused
providential, provincial.
2. happy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for providential
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I could not rest one instant, even for thanksgiving, until I knew to what providential circumstance I owed my safety.

  • He had himself been converted by what might well be considered a providential circumstance.

    Captain Cook W.H.G. Kingston
  • Now the matter was serious enough, as we had only one axe, and we felt that we had had a most providential escape.

  • It was hard for me to get into the saddle, and it has always seemed to me providential that I could do so at all.

    The Story of the Outlaw Emerson Hough
  • But the providential landing came, the party falling into the embrace of a fruit tree in an orchard.

British Dictionary definitions for providential


relating to, characteristic of, or presumed to proceed from or as if from divine providence
Derived Forms
providentially, adverb
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 providential

1610s, "pertaining to foresifght" (implied in providentially); 1640s as "pertaining to divine providence," from Latin providentia (see providence) + -al (1). Meaning "by divine interposition" is recorded from 1719.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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