mid-15c., purveu, in law, "the body of a statute, the substance of an act," from Anglo-French purveu est "it is provided," or purveu que "provided that" (late 13c.), clauses that introduced statutes in old legal documents, from Anglo-French purveu, Old French porveu (Modern French pourvu) "provided," past participle of porveoir "to provide," from Latin providere "look ahead, prepare, supply, act with foresight," from pro "ahead" (see pro-) + videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see").
The extended sense of "scope, extent" is attested by 1788 in "Federalist" (Madison). Modern sense and spelling influenced by view (n.).
updated on February 11, 2021