noun, plural pro·vi·sos, pro·vi·soes.

a clause in a statute, contract, or the like, by which a condition is introduced.
a stipulation or condition.

Origin of proviso

1400–50; late Middle English < Medieval Latin prōvīsō, for prōvīsō (quod) it being provided (that), ablative neuter singular of Latin prōvīsus, past participle of prōvidēre to provide

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

Examples from the Web for proviso

Contemporary Examples of proviso

  • The key point is the proviso that Murray notes: insofar as men need to work to survive.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Answering a Murray Defender

    David Frum

    February 8, 2012

  • The kingdom takes them in on the proviso that they stay out of politics.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Crossroad for Arab Dictators

    Bruce Riedel

    January 15, 2011

  • When contemplating how to evaluate Barack Obama's first 100 days, it's important to keep in mind the proviso: Compared to what?

    The Daily Beast logo
    Cheer Up, Liberals

    Matthew Yglesias

    April 28, 2009

Historical Examples of proviso

  • I granted you permission to come, but I made it a proviso that there should be no conversation.

  • There was also a proviso that the infants should be taught 'suitably to their age.'

    The Curse of Education

    Harold E. Gorst

  • The "Wilmot proviso" was for some years the watchword of the anti-extensionists.

    The Negro and the Nation

    George S. Merriam

  • It should, however, be accompanied by the proviso that no more than 10 per cent.

    Concrete Construction

    Halbert P. Gillette

  • He granted the request, but with the proviso that she should never return.


    Martha Foote Crow

British Dictionary definitions for proviso


noun plural -sos or -soes

a clause in a document or contract that embodies a condition or stipulation
a condition or stipulation

Word Origin for proviso

C15: from Medieval Latin phrase prōvīsō quod it being provided that, from Latin prōvīsus provided
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 proviso

mid-15c., from Medieval Latin proviso (quod) "provided (that)," phrase at the beginning of clauses in legal documents (mid-14c.), from Latin proviso "it being provided," ablative neuter of provisus, past participle of providere (see provide). Related: Provisory.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper