on the condition or understanding (that); provided: He can stay here providing he works.

Origin of providing

First recorded in 1375–1425, providing is from the late Middle English word provydyng. See provide, -ing2

Synonyms for providing

See if.

Usage note



verb (used with object), pro·vid·ed, pro·vid·ing.

to make available; furnish: to provide employees with various benefits.
to supply or equip: to provide the army with new fighter planes.
to afford or yield.
Law. to arrange for or stipulate beforehand, as by a provision or proviso.
Archaic. to prepare or procure beforehand.

verb (used without object), pro·vid·ed, pro·vid·ing.

to take measures with due foresight (usually followed by for or against).
to make arrangements for supplying means of support, money, etc. (usually followed by for): He provided for his children in his will.
to supply means of support (often followed by for): to provide for oneself.

Origin of provide

1375–1425; late Middle English providen < Latin prōvidēre to foresee, look after, provide for, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + vidēre to see
Related formspro·vid·a·ble, adjectiveo·ver·pro·vide, verb (used with object), o·ver·pro·vid·ed, o·ver·pro·vid·ing.pre·pro·vide, verb (used with object), pre·pro·vid·ed, pre·pro·vid·ing.un·pro·vid·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for provide Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for providing

Contemporary Examples of providing

Historical Examples of providing

  • When I last saw her she was providing for five sick and injured ones.

  • Sometimes, by way of providing a varied entertainment, they sing a dirge.

  • At that moment she might be in the power and at the mercy of him who had followed her; providing he were not friendly.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • In that armor of nature's providing he will not shiver or shake any more.

  • Leaving the common tables, we may therefore proceed to the means of providing food.



British Dictionary definitions for providing




(subordinating sometimes foll by that) on the condition or understanding (that)I'll play, providing you pay me


verb (mainly tr)

to put at the disposal of; furnish or supply
to afford; yieldthis meeting provides an opportunity to talk
(intr; often foll by for or against) to take careful precautions (over)he provided against financial ruin by wise investment
(intr foll by for) to supply means of support (to), esp financiallyhe provides for his family
(in statutes, documents, etc) to determine (what is to happen in certain contingencies), esp by including a proviso condition
to confer and induct into ecclesiastical offices
rare to have or get in storein summer many animals provide their winter food
Derived Formsprovider, noun

Word Origin for provide

C15: from Latin prōvidēre to provide for, from prō- beforehand + vidēre to see
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 providing



early 15c., from Latin providere "look ahead, prepare, supply, act with foresight," from pro- "ahead" (see pro-) + videre "to see" (see vision). Related: Provided; providing. Earlier in same sense was purvey, which is the same word as deformed in Old French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper