- providing or serving for the time being only; existing only until permanently or properly replaced; temporary: a provisional government.
- accepted or adopted tentatively; conditional; probationary.
- (usually initial capital letter) of or being the wing of the Irish Republican Army that follows a policy of violence.
- Philately. a stamp that serves temporarily, pending the appearance of the regular issue, or during a temporary shortage of the regular stamps.
- a provisional member of a group.
- (usually initial capital letter) a member of the Provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army.
Origin of provisional
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for provisional
The spirit of the novel is one of doubt and questioning; its knowledge is provisional and its perspectives multiple.The Birth of the Novel
November 27, 2014
Most radical was the 1856 Provisional Constitution drafted by northern abolitionists, including John Brown.One U.S. Constitution Just Wasn’t Enough
July 4, 2014
Some students waited in line for seven hours to get provisional ballots.Was 2012 the Worst Year Ever for Voting Rights?
August 22, 2013
It is better to at least guarantee the Palestinians a state even if its borders are provisional.Preparing for Plan B
July 22, 2013
There should be no provisional status until we have locked down our borders and implemented E-Verify in a satisfactory manner.On Immigration, Praise for the Tea Party
May 8, 2013
Moreover, we all knew that the present was only a provisional arrangement.Freeland
The retreat was effected; but it was only a provisional retreat.
Not one of the gentlemen of the Provisional Commission put in an appearance.The Fortune of the Rougons
When she hears that you're Provisional Governor of this planet, she'll even believe it.Divinity
The reading of the name as Ramman (or Rammanu) is provisional.The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria
less commonly provisionary (prəˈvɪʒənərɪ)
- subject to later alteration; temporary or conditionala provisional decision
- a postage stamp surcharged during an emergency to alter the stamp's denomination or significance until a new or regular issue is printed
- of, designating, or relating to the unofficial factions of the IRA and Sinn Féin that became increasingly dominant following a split in 1969. The Provisional movement remained committed to a policy of terrorism until its ceasefires of the mid-1990s
- Also called: Provo a member of the Provisional IRA or Sinn Féin
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
Word Origin and History for provisional
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper