[ pruh-vizh-uhn ]
See synonyms for: provisionprovisionedprovisioningprovisions on

  1. a clause in a legal instrument, a law, etc., providing for a particular matter; stipulation; proviso.

  2. the providing or supplying of something, especially of food or other necessities.

  1. arrangement or preparation beforehand, as for the doing of something, the meeting of needs, the supplying of means, etc.

  2. something provided; a measure or other means for meeting a need.

  3. a supply or stock of something provided.

  4. provisions, supplies of food.

  5. Ecclesiastical.

    • an appointment to an ecclesiastical office.

    • appointment by the pope to a see or benefice not yet vacant.

verb (used with object)
  1. to supply with provisions.

Origin of provision

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Latin prōvīsiōn- (stem of prōvīsiō ) “a foreseeing,” equivalent to prōvīs(us) (past participle of prōvidēre “to foresee, look after, provide”) + -iōn- suffix; see origin at provide, -ion

synonym study For provision

6. See food.

word story For provision

The noun provision has many spellings in Middle English: provisioun, provicion, profiseon (and literally dozens of others); its meanings are “foresight, prudence, care.” The Middle English forms come partly from Latin prōvisiō and partly from Anglo-French provisione, provisioun, proveson, from Old French provision, provisïon “supply of materials or necessities, foresight, precaution.”
The Old French noun comes from Latin prōvisiō (stem prōvisiōn- ) “an act or action of seeing ahead, foresight, provision (against something),” a derivative of the verb prōvidēre “to see ahead, in advance, or beforehand; consider or take steps in advance; exercise forethought or caution; supply, provide.” Prōvidēre is a verb formed from the Latin preposition and prefix pro, pro-, here meaning “forward, outward,” and the simple verb vidēre “to see, observe, witness, act with foresight, take care.” Thus, its meaning is “to see or act forward.”
The noun sense “an appointment to an ecclesiastical office, an appointment by the pope to a see or benefice not yet vacant” dates from the late 14th century. The plural noun provisions “a supply of food” dates from the mid-16th century. The verb sense “to supply with stores or provisions” is first recorded at the beginning of the 17th century; it is formed from the noun by functional shift (a change in grammatical function).

Other words for provision

Other words from provision

  • pro·vi·sion·er, noun
  • pro·vi·sion·less, adjective
  • o·ver·pro·vi·sion, noun
  • pre·pro·vi·sion, noun
  • re·pro·vi·sion, verb
  • self-pro·vi·sion, noun
  • un·pro·vi·sioned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use provision in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for provision


/ (prəˈvɪʒən) /

  1. the act of supplying or providing food, etc

  2. something that is supplied or provided

  1. preparations made beforehand (esp in the phrase make provision for)

  2. (plural) food and other necessities, esp for an expedition

  3. (plural) food obtained for a household

  4. a demand, condition, or stipulation formally incorporated in a document; proviso

  5. the conferring of and induction into ecclesiastical offices

  1. (tr) to supply with provisions

Origin of provision

C14: from Latin prōvīsiō a providing; see provide

Derived forms of provision

  • provisioner, noun

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