pre·​game | \ ˈprē-ˌgām How to pronounce pregame (audio) \

Definition of pregame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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


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

Definition of pregame (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from pregame


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: Adjective 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, "After brother's death, emotional Cassius Winston leads Michigan State to blowout win," 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, "Arizona sports team up for raffle to raise funds for coronavirus relief," 1 May 2020 No pregame basketball starters shaking hands and hugging, no postgame hockey lines? Marc Bona, cleveland, "16 things likely to become obsolete in a post-coronavirus world," 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, "Detroit Tigers tickets on sale Friday: Here are the giveaways to look for in 2020," 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, "Kobe Bryant’s Many Moves to the Net," 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, "In Coronavirus Outbreak, the High-Five Is Left Hanging," 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, "IU football: Devon Matthews enjoys a true homecoming for Gator Bowl," 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, "Patrick Mahomes Led the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl Comeback. He Also Affirmed His Greatness," 3 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Juzang was a straggler to pregame warmups, walking over to a courtside chair to tie his shoes while his teammates started stretching on the court. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "Johnny Juzang returns from ankle sprain, lifts UCLA over BYU in NCAA tournament," 20 Mar. 2021 Why did 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman say Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield didn’t shake his hand during Monday’s pregame coin toss when that wasn’t accurate? Eric Branch,, "Richard Sherman’s illuminating final words on handshake controversy," 10 Oct. 2019 The game, between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, begins at 6:30 p.m. The interview will be part of Fox’s pregame show and will air at around 3:30 p.m. John Bisognano, USA TODAY, "Fox News’ Sean Hannity to interview President Trump before the Super Bowl," 26 Jan. 2020 The Clippers’ pregame video featured catch phrases that took subtle shots at the Lakers. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Lakers-Clippers can become rivalry even if Lakers will always own LA," 23 Oct. 2019 Hogan is sitting in a green room on the Fox Studios lot after appearing on the network’s baseball playoffs pregame show with Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz and Frank Thomas., "Hulk Hogan hopes to return for one final WWE match at WrestleMania," 10 Oct. 2019 Some of the video footage aired on Fox Sports’ pregame show less than a half hour before the Patriots kicked off in Cincinnati for a matchup between 10-3 New England and the 1-12 Bengals., "The Patriots have suspended the videographer who filmed the Bengals sideline in Cleveland last week, a league source confirmed to the Globe.," 16 Dec. 2019 He was seen getting up some shots pregame Wednesday. Connor Letourneau,, "Warriors’ Kevon Looney, Jacob Evans to miss extended time with injuries," 30 Oct. 2019 Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff pregame show also drew its highest rating ever with a 1.6 from 11 a.m.-noon. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State coach Ryan Day believes Garrett Wilson can solve punt-drop issue: Buckeye Breakfast," 2 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pregame.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pregame


1906, in the meaning defined above


2004, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for pregame

Time Traveler

The first known use of pregame was in 1906

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Cite this Entry

“Pregame.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for pregame



English Language Learners Definition of pregame

US : happening before the beginning of a sports game

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