Providence Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

The capital of Rhode Island is Providence, but what does providence mean? This guide will provide you with the meaning of providence and more.

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You may know the term providence as the name of Rhode Island’s largest city and state capital, but did you know that it can also refer to a force that is believed by some folks to arrange the things that happen to us? 

Synonymous to fate, providence can be confusing to understand, but fret not — we’re here to help. In this post, we explore the word providence to uncover its definition, origin, and more. So, if you’ve ever been curious about providence — keep reading. 

What Is the Definition of Providence?

If you happen to find yourself at the head of the Narragansett Bay in a port in NE Rhode Island, you’re in the capital of Rhode Island, Providence. This is just one of the varying definitions for our word of the day, providence. 

We have scoured all the trusted English Dictionaries to compile a shortlist of the various meanings of providence — which we have listed for you below:

  • According to the Oxford English Dictionary, providence refers to the protective care of God, a deity, or of nature as a spiritual power. 

After reviewing the definitions listed above, we can conclude that providence is the guardianship and care provided by a God or deity. When speaking with a religious friend, they may thank God for his providence

The term “provide” — which makes up the first seven letters of “providence” — is a good clue to this word’s meaning: When a deity blesses her people with providence, she takes care of them. In other words, she is providing for them.  

What Is the Etymology of Providence?

To help you truly understand the meaning of providence, let’s review the term’s etymology. 

First coined in the late 14th century meaning timely care or preparation, anticipation, foresight, or prudent anticipation, providence derives from Old French providence and Latin providentia.

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Providence?

Synonyms and antonyms are excellent tools to help you enhance the quality of your writing and spoken language. In short, a synonym is a word or phrase that has the same or nearly the same meaning, whereas an antonym is a word or phrase with an opposite meaning. 

With that in mind, here are the synonyms and antonyms of the term providence provided by Power Thesaurus listed below.


  • Prudence
  • Lucky break
  • Fate
  • Outside influence
  • Destiny
  • Divine governance
  • God’s will
  • One’s lot
  • Forethought
  • Divine superintendence 
  • Good luck
  • Fluke 
  • Frugality 
  • Scrimping and saving
  • Good management
  • Common sense
  • Divine Providence
  • Astral influence
  • Precaution 
  • Divine intervention
  • Predetermination
  • One’s portion
  • Demiurge
  • Presence of mind 
  • Divine guidance 


  • Improvidence
  • Extravagance
  • Voluntary decision 
  • Carelessness 
  • Foolishness
  • Lack of intelligence
  • Free choice
  • Impulsiveness
  • Mental darkness
  • Wildness
  • Free decision
  • Raise
  • Lack of foresight
  • Liberality
  • Self-determination 
  • Luxury
  • Slow wittedness 
  • Unreasonableness
  • Recklessness 
  • Mental incapacity 
  • Demon 
  • Bad fortune

How Can You Properly Use Providence in a Sentence?

Whether you’re referring to Rhode Island’s state capitol or the protective care of God, proper use of the term providence is important. Test yourself to see how many sentences you can come up with using proper usage of the term providence. 

If you need some help, refer to our example sentences listed below:

I truly adore living in our capital city of Providence. Thank you, Roger Williams!

His speedy recovery was the divine providence of God.

Because of Rebecca’s providence, she and her husband have a nice retirement egg.

The people of the town declared his death an act of providence.

I have to leave for a work meeting in Providence at 7 AM.

My grandma used to believe her suffering was sent by providence.

The pilot said divine providence stopped him from taking off that morning.

If you ask me, there’s a soothing providence that watches over the deserving.

Last weekend, Sarah and I went to Providence and relaxed in Waterplace Park before checking out Federal Hill. 

Did you know that the word providence can sometimes be used as a title of God?

What Are Translations of Providence?

Before we bring this post to an end, we want to leave you with a few translations of the word providence — just in case you need to use the term in your travels!

Translations of providence are as follows:

  • European Portuguese — providência
  • American English — providence
  • Chinese — 上帝
  • French — providence
  • Italian — provvidenza
  • Polish — opatrzność
  • Korean — 신
  • Dutch — voorzienigheid
  • Spanish — providencia
  • Brazilian Portuguese — providência
  • European Spanish — providencia
  • German — Vorsehung
  • Japanese — 神意


In short, providence can reference the manifestation of a divine direction, guardianship, or care, and the term can also be used when thanking God for his providence. 

Our word of the day is also the capital city of Rhode Island — AKA, the 13th state in the United States of America! 


  1. Providence definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. Providence: definition | Cambridge English Dictionary 
  3. Providence synonyms: 822 Words and Phrases for Providence by Power Thesaurus 
  4. Providence English Definition and Meaning |