providence (n.)

late 14c., "foresight, prudent anticipation, timely care or preparation," from Old French providence "divine providence, foresight" (12c.) and directly from Latin providentia "foresight, precaution, foreknowledge," abstract noun from present-participle stem of providere "look ahead, prepare, supply, act with foresight," which is from pro "ahead" (see pro-) + videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see").

Providence (usually capitalized) "God as beneficent caretaker of his creatures," is recorded c. 1600, from earlier use of the word for "God's beneficent care, guardianship, or guidance" (late 14c., short for divine providence, etc.). The noun in classical Latin occasionally was used as the name of a goddess and in Late Latin as "God; the government of the world by God's infinite wisdom and foresight."

updated on December 27, 2020