The word provision is used to describe something in a contract, but without being specific—I don’t think you can say it refers to a sentence or to a section.

You can use provision in a contract, usually in the plural. Here are two examples:

any additional shares of Common Stock issued and issuable in connection with any anti-dilution provisions in the Notes or the Warrants

or the consent of whose Holders is required for any waiver of compliance with certain provisions of this Indenture

But usually it’s redundant:

in accordance with the provisions of this Section 4.1.1

so long as Borrower timely complies with each of the provisions in subsections (i)-(v) below:

and to secure compliance with the provisions of this Indenture

as such ADRs may be amended from time to time in accordance with the provisions of the Deposit Agreement

The provisions of this Section 2(b) are [is] subject to (i) the provisions set forth in the Notice of Grant of Stock Options or any employment agreement, consulting agreement or similar agreement

My favorite instance of the redundant provision is the fatous terms and provisions, which is presumably used by those besotted by terms and conditions:

perform and be bound by the terms and provisions of the Intercreditor Agreement

all of the terms and provisions of the Purchase Agreement and the other Transaction Documents shall remain in full force and effect

I also see provisions used in section and article headings. You can always do better:

Other Interpretive Provisions [Interpretation]

Definitions and Other Definitional Provisions

Miscellaneous Provisions

Patent Provisions [Patents]

Cure Provisions

Certain Provisions Relating to Limited Liability Company and Limited Partnership Interests.


About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.