Definition of provisional in English:


Pronunciation /prəˈviZHənl/ /prəˈvɪʒənl/

See synonyms for provisional

Translate provisional into Spanish


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

    ‘a provisional government’
    • ‘a provisional construction permit’
    • ‘Preliminary and provisional findings are presented, sometimes before peer review and without appropriate caveats, as proof of links between lethal diseases and familiar products or activities.’
    • ‘While my research into these matters is not yet complete, I would like to present my provisional conclusions.’
    • ‘Workers established dual power, whereby there were workers' councils on the one hand and a provisional government using the existing state institutions on the other.’
    • ‘We have now made provisional bookings so we need names and deposits immediately to secure accommodation.’
    • ‘Statehood, even if qualified as provisional or interim, confers a degree of sovereignty.’
    • ‘This explanation should be regarded as provisional at present, but it does suggest several important directions for future work.’
    • ‘A spokesman for Bradford Council said a provisional arrangement had been made but it was never confirmed, so no-one attended.’
    • ‘That report contains provisional proposals for the construction of major flood alleviation works within the Edgware Brook and Silk Stream catchments.’
    • ‘Where uncertainty or dispute exists and it is necessary for a some factual determination to be made in order to comply with the brief, only tentative or provisional views will be expressed.’
    • ‘It was a kind of empire built on very provisional and tentative things that might happen.’
    • ‘In general practice in the United Kingdom, it is possible to make provisional decisions with patients and to review them.’
    • ‘Much of the uncertainty surrounds the dizzying number of ways of qualifying for a provisional ballot, a sort of emergency ballot that allows voters to cast a vote at the polls, then have their eligibility checked after the election.’
    • ‘Blackwell ruled that persons who had requested, but not received their absentee ballots, would not be permitted to cast a provisional ballot.’
    • ‘Lots of top-notch breweries are set to be represented (although the beer list is provisional and subject to change).’
    • ‘If the fee is acceptable to WD King then I hope that your commitments permit our provisional meeting in Bath next Monday to go ahead.’
    • ‘‘Work is ongoing in processing these cases, with a view to issuing provisional entitlement statements as soon as possible’, she said.’
    • ‘In the meantime, the provisional festival programme has thrown up some intriguing possibilities for a couple of good nights on the town.’
    • ‘‘There is nothing unusual about changes to provisional star-rating status prior to publication,’ he told MPs.’
    • ‘Its findings are never true in an absolute now-and-forever sense; they are always provisional and can always be improved.’
    • ‘A provisional date of has been pencilled in for the York and District Cup final between Selby Warriors and York Groves.’
    interim, temporary, pro tem
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of a postage stamp) put into circulation temporarily, usually owing to the unavailability of the definitive issue.
      ‘Some of the most coveted United States postage stamps are the crude provisional stamps used by early postmasters from 1845 to 1846 before the Stamp Act was legislated.’
      • ‘Provisional stamps are usually made by overprinting, surcharging and occasionally by bisecting pre-existing stamps.’
  • 2

    (also Provisional)
    attributive Relating to the unofficial wings of the Irish Republican Army and Sinn Fein established in 1969 and advocating terrorism.

    ‘the Provisional IRA’
    • ‘The first 'general army convention' of the Provisional IRA was attended by just thirty-four people’
    • ‘The Official IRA declared a ceasefire in the summer of 1972, and subsequently the term IRA has been used for the organisation that had developed from the 'Provisional' IRA.’
    • ‘A number of the Provisional IRA members held in Castlerea are expected to be among those allowed out for a time next week.’
    • ‘We ran a debate on the question of the 'Armed Struggle', and we also sent a letter to the Provisional IRA.’
    • ‘A Special Branch surveillance list drawn up three years ago detailed the movements of suspected members of the Provisional IRA.’
    • ‘Pressure for a Provisional ceasefire was intensified when the Official IRA announced one in May.’
    • ‘The internal debate within the Provisional movement has encountered some difficulties.’
    • ‘I was in negotiations with those who would know the leadership of the Provisional movement.’
    • ‘Some are former members of the Provisional IRA.’
    • ‘He rose through the Provisional IRA's ranks in the 1980s.’


  • 1A provisional postage stamp.

    ‘The New Orleans 5c Provisionals are the most common of the CSA provisional stamps and the ones most likely to be acquired by the average collector.’
    • ‘Dr. Maffeo was able to assemble a remarkable number of rare Postmaster's Provisionals, both United States and Confederate as well as two Inverted Jennys.’
  • 2

    (also Provisional)
    A member of the Provisional wings of the Irish Republican Army or Sinn Fein.

    ‘Separately, Special Branch detectives said this weekend that Garda surveillance had resumed on alleged members of the Provisionals in Dublin, including people associated with Sinn Féin.’
    • ‘The Officials were pulled into violence in the north, though were consistently less aggressive than the Provisionals.’
    • ‘It is not clear that the men arrested in Colombia, at least two of whom are convicted IRA bomb-makers, represent the Provisionals or, for that matter, the Real IRA.’
    • ‘When the Provisionals broke away from Official Sinn Féin / IRA in the early days of the Troubles they had little or no interest in politics.’