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[pruh-vizh-uh n] /prəˈvɪʒ ən/
a clause in a legal instrument, a law, etc., providing for a particular matter; stipulation; proviso.
the providing or supplying of something, especially of food or other necessities.
arrangement or preparation beforehand, as for the doing of something, the meeting of needs, the supplying of means, etc.
something provided; a measure or other means for meeting a need.
a supply or stock of something provided.
provisions, supplies of food.
  1. an appointment to an ecclesiastical office.
  2. appointment by the pope to a see or benefice not yet vacant.
verb (used with object)
to supply with provisions.
Origin of provision
1300-50; Middle English < Latin prōvīsiōn- (stem of prōvīsiō) a foreseeing, equivalent to prōvīs(us) (past participle of prōvidēre to provide) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
provisioner, noun
provisionless, adjective
overprovision, noun
preprovision, noun
reprovision, verb
self-provision, noun
unprovisioned, adjective
1. condition. 2. catering, purveying. 6. store, provender, stock. See food. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for provisioning
Historical Examples
  • Now came the important work of provisioning their ark of safety.

    Adrift in a Boat W.H.G. Kingston
  • The provisioning of the great house was the work of the Lardner, Fr.

    The Romance of Names Ernest Weekley
  • Without any boundary-pad, with no guiding mark for the capacity of the cell, she busies herself straightway with the provisioning.

    Bramble-bees and Others J. Henri Fabre
  • We were, however, detained for several days refitting and provisioning the ship.

    Peter Trawl W. H. G. Kingston
  • He soon reached the Cape of Good Hope, where he completed in a few days the provisioning necessary for an eighteen months' voyage.

  • The sailors are pumping, and the stewards are provisioning the boats.

  • M. Ganeau does a good business in provisioning the traders when they go north.

    A Little Girl in Old Detroit Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • Already the work of provisioning and fitting the vessel was in progress.

    Boy Scouts in the North Sea G. Harvey Ralphson
  • He wasn't absolutely heartless, and he gave careful directions for provisioning the transports for their long journey.

    Amy in Acadia Helen Leah Reed
  • What efforts have been made to open up other roads for provisioning the army?

    On the Trail of Grant and Lee Frederick Trevor Hill
British Dictionary definitions for provisioning


the act of supplying or providing food, etc
something that is supplied or provided
preparations made beforehand (esp in the phrase make provision for)
(pl) food and other necessities, esp for an expedition
(pl) food obtained for a household
a demand, condition, or stipulation formally incorporated in a document; proviso
the conferring of and induction into ecclesiastical offices
(transitive) to supply with provisions
Derived Forms
provisioner, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin prōvīsiō a providing; see provide
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 provisioning



late 14c., "a providing beforehand, action of arranging in advance" (originally in reference to ecclesiastical appointments made before the position was vacant), from Old French provision "precaution, care" (early 14c.), from Latin provisionem (nominative provisio) "a foreseeing, foresight, preparation, prevention," noun of action from past participle stem of providere "look ahead" (see provide). Meaning "something provided" is attested from late 15c.; specific sense of "supply of food" is from c.1600.


"to supply with provisions," 1787, from provision (n.). Related: Provisioned; provisioning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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