provide (v.)

early 15c., providen, "make provision for the future; arrange, plan; take care, relieve of needs, supply the needs of," from Latin providere "look ahead, prepare, supply, act with foresight," from pro "ahead" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see"). Related: Provided; providing. Earlier in same sense was its doublet purvey, which is from the same Latin verb, deformed in Old French (pourvoir).

No memory of having starred
Atones for later disregard,
Or keeps the end from being hard.
Better to go down dignified
With boughten friendship at your side
Than none at all. Provide, provide!
[Robert Frost, from "Provide, Provide"]

updated on September 18, 2022

Definitions of provide from WordNet

provide (v.)
give something useful or necessary to;
We provided the room with an electrical heater
Synonyms: supply / render / furnish
provide (v.)
give what is desired or needed, especially support, food or sustenance;
The hostess provided lunch for all the guests
Synonyms: supply / ply / cater
provide (v.)
determine (what is to happen in certain contingencies), especially by including a proviso condition or stipulation;
The Constitution provides for the right to free speech
The will provides that each child should receive half of the money
provide (v.)
mount or put up;
Synonyms: put up / offer
provide (v.)
make a possibility or provide opportunity for; permit to be attainable or cause to remain;
This procedure provides for lots of leeway
Synonyms: leave / allow for / allow
provide (v.)
supply means of subsistence; earn a living;
He provides for his large family by working three jobs
Synonyms: bring home the bacon
provide (v.)
take measures in preparation for;
provide for the proper care of the passengers on the cruise ship
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.