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pre·​game ˈprē-ˌgām How to pronounce pregame (audio)
: existing or occurring before a game
a pregame party
the athlete's usual pregame meal/warm-up
The Bulls had finished their pregame shooting and were returning for the regular pregame meeting to go over the scouting report …Sam Smith


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pre·​game ˌprē-ˈgām How to pronounce pregame (audio)
pregamed; pregaming

intransitive verb

US, informal
: to begin drinking alcohol before an event or activity (such as a party or a night out)
Her friends, all in their 20s and pregaming for a Saturday night out in the bars, nodded enthusiastically.Dan Kois
On the same principle, pregaming with a few shots before you arrive is a risky maneuver. You should be relatively sober when you present your host gift and size up the situation.Pete Wells
pregaming noun
Pregaming … is the practice of consuming alcohol before going to a social event. Georgina Lawton
… students reported higher rates of pregaming and alcohol-related blackouts than national averages. Tess Sohngen

Examples of pregame in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Breslin Center held a pregame moment of silence in Zachary’s memory, during which both Cassius and Izzo were visibly emotional. Chase Michaelson, Detroit Free Press, 11 Nov. 2019 Arizona State football: 4 game tickets in the Athletic Director’s suite with pregame sideline passes and parking pass. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, 1 May 2020 No pregame basketball starters shaking hands and hugging, no postgame hockey lines? Marc Bona, cleveland, 26 Apr. 2020 New this year: Tigers players will be available for pregame autographs prior to select Saturday home games. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, 20 Feb. 2020 Now, of course, men like Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Kelly Oubre Jr. embrace style so avidly that the stroll from tunnel to arena has become a pregame version of the Oscars red carpet. New York Times, 29 Jan. 2020 Serving as her team’s captain on Sunday, Dunn stood at the head of its pregame handshake line as a queue of players from Spain, having just high-fived the referees, approached the Americans with their hands out. Andrew Keh, New York Times, 13 Mar. 2020 At the beginning of his eighth-grade basketball season, Devon injured his knee on a freak accident in the pregame layup line. Jon Blau, Indianapolis Star, 2 Jan. 2020 The 49ers and Chiefs each lined up on the 24-yard-line — Bryant wore No. 24 — for a pregame moment of silence to honor the victims of the crash as well as NFL Hall of Famer Chris Doleman, who also passed away last week. Sean Gregory, Time, 3 Feb. 2020
On Admiral Boulevard, the Red Front Bar and Grill was packed with people pregaming on whiskey sours and bloody marys. Sharon Hoffmann, Kansas City Star, 5 Feb. 2020 One studio-side source says company leaders pregamed the negotiation in a Zoom prior to Wednesday’s bargaining session. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Sep. 2023 The restaurant will open two hours before the scheduled start time of games and concerts, for those who want to pregame with shrimp cocktails. Endia Fontanez, The Arizona Republic, 20 July 2023 On Sunday, about 40 Knicks fans crowded into the bar, dwarfing a few tables of rogue Dodgers (not Brooklyn) fans, who were pregaming a day game. Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, 2 May 2023 The setting for The Comeuppance is unassuming enough: The audience starts off looking at a suburban porch cloaked in twilight, where a group of high-school friends are getting together to pregame before their 20th reunion. Vulture, 5 June 2023 On the season 10 premiere, Seinfeld and Zach Galifianakis pregame their coffee and donuts at Dinah's Chicken with more coffee and donuts from this Borough Park bakery. Madison Roberts, Peoplemag, 25 Dec. 2022 On March 12, pregame the annual Greenville St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Plucker’s Wing Bar. Start the holiday off right by with a neon green cocktail and a pint of green beer while listening to live music and a DJ. Dallas News, 8 Mar. 2022 Outright conference title or not, today is likely the final game at Estes Stadium for the 2022 season, and UCA is honoring a handful of players pregame to cap off the season. Sam Lane, Arkansas Online, 19 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pregame.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1906, in the meaning defined above


2004, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pregame was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near pregame

Cite this Entry

“Pregame.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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