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From Middle English provendre, from Old French provendre, variant of provende (allowance, provision), from Late Latin praebenda (a payment, in Medieval Latin also an allowance of food and drink, pittance, also a prebend). Doublet of prebend.



provender (usually uncountable, plural provenders)

  1. (dated) Food, especially for livestock.
    Synonyms: fodder; see also Thesaurus:food
    • 1859, George Meredith, The Ordeal of Richard Feverel, Chapter 12:
      The farm which supplied to him ungrudging provender had all his vast capacity for work in willing exercise …
    • 1663, Hudibras, by Samuel Butler, part 1, canto 2
      He ripp'd the womb up of his mother, / Dame Tellus, 'cause he wanted fother, / And provender, wherewith to feed / Himself and his less cruel steed.
    • 1952, Norman Lewis, Golden Earth:
      Irregular, sporadic feeding and strange provender were beginning to take their toll, and I felt queasy at the thought of 'various curries' the Amat's clerk had promised for the first meal of the day.
    • 1954, J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Chapter I, A long-expected party:
      (...) hobbits were easy-going with their children in the matter of sitting up late, especially when there was a chance of getting them a free meal. Bringing up young hobbits took a lot of provender.



provender (third-person singular simple present provenders, present participle provendering, simple past and past participle provendered)

  1. (transitive) To feed.
    • 1911, International Horseshoers' Monthly Magazine (volume 12, page 35)
      One night, after several days of continuous plowing, and after the ox and mule had been stabled and provendered for the night, the ox said to the mule []

Further reading[edit]