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See also: Providence



From Anglo-Norman providence, Middle French providence, and their source, Latin prōvidentia (providence, foresight), from the present participle of prōvidēre (to provide). Displaced native Old English foresċēawung.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɹɒvɪdəns/
  • (file)


providence (countable and uncountable, plural providences)

  1. (now rare) Preparation for the future; good governance; foresight. [from 14th c.]
  2. The careful governance and guidance of God (or another deity, nature, etc.). [from 14th c.]
    • 2021 February 18, Air Accidents Investigation Branch, “Public Safety”, in AAIB investigation to Alauda Airspeeder Mk II, (UAS, registration n/a) 040719[1], archived from the original on 19 September 2023:
      Constraining the area of a UAS’ operation does not provide protection to the public when there is no guarantee that a UA will remain within these confines. In this case the UA entered controlled airspace used by commercial aircraft and it could have crashed in a nearby densely populated area or at a large public event, both with a high potential for fatalities. As there was no control or influence over where it crashed, it was only down to providence that it crashed in a field 40 m away from occupied houses.
  3. A manifestation of divine care or direction; an instance of divine intervention. [from 16th c.]
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society, published 2012, page 91:
      The idea was that a complete list of fully documented providences should be compiled as a cooperative venture which would cross denominational barriers.
  4. Specifically, the prudent care and management of resources; thriftiness, frugality. [from 17th c.]
    His providence in saving for his old age is exemplary.

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providence f (plural providences)

  1. providence

Further reading[edit]

Old French[edit]


providence f (nominative singular providence)

  1. providence (manifestation of divine care or direction)