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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
    • 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.



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 []

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