What is the connection between "Provision" and "Provisional"? It seems the don't have anything in common. Are those two words looking similar just of a coincidence?


  1. the action of providing or supplying something for use
  2. an amount or thing supplied or provided
  3. a condition or requirement in a legal document


  1. arranged or existing for the present, possibly to be changed later

The words are cognates. Along with "provide", they are from Latin: from pro- "‘before’ + videre ‘to see’." (Google search for "provide etymology".

Here are the entries from Etymonline for the two words, which may provide some insight to how their particular meanings arose:

Etymonline "provisional"

Etymonline "provision"

It is very common for cognate words that resemble each other to have distinctly different meanings, just as it is very common for a single word form to have many different meanings.


There is no connection between the two words. Provision is all you listed an example is supplying with food, drink or need while provisional is to have something as temporal which can be changed later. An example could be using a phone temporary to change it later. Then the phone is provisional.

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