The Law Dictionary

Your Free Online Legal Dictionary • Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Ed.

PROVISO Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

A condition or provision which is inserted in a deed, lease, mortgage, or contract, and on the performance or nonperformance of which the validity of the deed, etc., frequently depends; it usually begins with the word “provided.” A proviso in deeds or laws is a limitation or exception to a grant made or authority conferred, the effect of which is to declare that the one shall not operate, or the other be exercised, unless in the case provided. Voorhees v. Bank of United States, 10 Pet. 449, 9 L. Ed. 490. The word “proviso” is generally taken for a condition, but it differs from it in several respects; for a condition is usually created by the grantor or lessor, but a proviso by the grantee or lessee. Jacob. A proviso differs from an exception. 1 Barn. & Aid. 99. An exception exempts, absolutely, from the operation of an engagement or an enactment ; a proviso defeats their operation, conditionally. An exception takes out of an engagement or enactment something which would otherwise be part of the subject-matter of it; a proviso avoids them by way of defeasance or excuse. 8 Am. Jur. 242. A clause or part of a clause in a statute, the office of which is either to except some- thing from the enacting clause, or to qualify or restrain its generality, or to exclude some possible ground of misinterpretation of its extent. Minis v. U. S., 15 Pet. 445, 10 L. Ed. 791; In re Matthews (D. C.) 109 Fed. 014; Carroll v. State, 58 Ala. 396; Waffle v. Goble, 53 Barb. (N. Y.) 522. Proviso est providere prcesentia et fu- tura, non prseterita. Coke, 72. A proviso is to provide for the present or future, not the past.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.