Proviso – What does that mean?

In legal terms, a proviso is a thing added to an agreement or document that’s detailing the terms. For example, you may agree to buy a motorcycle with a proviso that the leather bags are included as part of the deal.

The word “proviso” has its origins in the Latin verb “providere” which means “foresee or provide” and the similarity with words like “provision” and “provide” is obvious. Proviso generally implies that getting or buying something includes conditions or is conditional. Just look at the following example. You agree to accompany your younger sister to the movies, provided (“with the proviso”) that you’ll get popcorn and a 40-ounce soft drink as well. Well, I guess that many parents could agree to this proposal “with the proviso” that your drink is no bigger than 20 ounces. Deal?

The definition of “proviso” is “a clause or article, like in contracts, that is introducing a condition” and it can also stand for “a conditional stipulation”. I’ll give you a few more examples of the use of the word “proviso” in sentences:
– She accepted the position with just one proviso: she would work by herself.
– The cops released the football fans with the proviso that for the remainder of the game, they behave.

Synonyms for “proviso”: are provision, condition, stipulation, rider, clause, qualification, reservation, restriction, limitation, and caveat. Often, it is used to say that a certain thing must happen or occur before the other can, like in “She was released from the county prison on/with the proviso that she wouldn’t leave the country”.

So it is often a part of legal documents stating that something must be done or happen. In lease contracts, “provisos” generally are covering a wide range of points and matters that tenants should read carefully and understand before signing the lease.

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