c. 1300, purveien, "make previous arrangements," also "think beforehand, consider" (senses now obsolete); early 14c. as "prepare (something), make (something) ready;" late 14c. as "provide, supply (a necessity), furnish (what is needed)," from Anglo-French porveire, purveire and directly from Old French porveoir "to provide, prepare, arrange" (Modern French pourvoir), from Latin providere "look ahead, prepare, supply, act with foresight," from pro "ahead" (see pro-) + videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see"). Compare provide, which now usually replaces it. Related: Purveyed; purveying.