A provider is a person who gives someone something they need. If your parents both have jobs so they can feed you and buy you what you need, you can call them providers.

Your mom's a provider if she works so she can care for you, put food on the table, and send you to school. There are other types of providers as well, although they all give you something you need, often a service. Your school is a provider of education, and the pharmacy around the corner is a provider of medication, makeup, and magazines. It's increasingly common to call your main doctor a "primary care provider."

Definitions of provider

n someone who provides the means for subsistence

Type of:
benefactor, helper
a person who helps people or institutions (especially with financial help)

n someone whose business is to supply a particular service or commodity

Gustavus Franklin Swift
United States meat-packer who began the use of refrigerated railroad cars (1839-1903)
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black marketeer
someone who engages illegally in trade in scarce or controlled commodities
someone who provides food and service (as for a party)
a supplier (especially of narcotics)
a person who dispenses
distributer, distributor
someone who markets merchandise
someone who supplies provisions (especially food)
someone who supplies members or employees
one (as a retailer or distributor) that stocks goods
provisioner, sutler, victualer, victualler
a supplier of victuals or supplies to an army
a recruiter of personnel (especially for corporations)
jobber, middleman, wholesaler
someone who buys large quantities of goods and resells to merchants rather than to the ultimate customers
retail merchant, retailer
a merchant who sells goods at retail
scout, talent scout
someone employed to discover and recruit talented persons (especially in the worlds of entertainment or sports)
ship chandler
a dealer in equipment and supplies for ships
wool stapler
a dealer in wool
Type of:
bourgeois, businessperson
a capitalist who engages in industrial commercial enterprise

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