noun, often attributive
pre·​kin·​der·​gar·​ten | \ (ˈ)prē-ˈkin-dər-ˌgär-tᵊn How to pronounce prekindergarten (audio) , -ˈkin-də-, -dᵊn \

Definition of prekindergarten

2 : a class or program preceding kindergarten for children usually from three to four years old

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of prekindergarten in a Sentence

a single father with two children in prekindergarten
Recent Examples on the Web The state’s prekindergarten program gets a $3 million increase, to $126 million. Mike Cason |, al, "Alabama lawmakers pass education budget reduced by pandemic," 7 May 2020 Students in prekindergarten through fifth grade attend Deans Mill or West Vine Street elementary schools, both of which recently underwent extensive renovations. Lisa Prevost, New York Times, "Stonington, Conn.: A Waterfront Community With a Colonial Vibe," 22 Apr. 2020 The separate prekindergarten program for 3- and 4-year-olds, which D.C. Public Schools will run, is open to any child who participates in the city’s school lottery placement system. Perry Stein, Washington Post, "D.C. reveals details of first stand-alone education center for young children," 14 Dec. 2019 The mayor’s largely successful universal prekindergarten program dominated his first-term education agenda. Eliza Shapiro, New York Times, "Laurene Powell Jobs and Robin Hood Fund Give $16 Million for N.Y. Schools," 3 Oct. 2019 With prekindergarten registration going completely online because of the coronavirus, Mesquite ISD is offering a pair of Facebook Live chats to answer parents’ questions. Jon Arnold, Dallas News, "Mesquite ISD hosting Facebook Live chats to assist with pre-K registration," 26 Mar. 2020 Specialty schools opening in 2020-2021 include a new prekindergarten-through-8th grade school for international studies at Bammel Elementary School, focusing on dual-language courses. Paul Wedding, Houston Chronicle, "Spring ISD Superintendent announces new specialty schools opening in 2020-2021," 6 Feb. 2020 The commission is asking for record-level state and local spending to expand prekindergarten offerings, increase teacher salaries and provide more services for students from low-income households and those receiving special-education services. Washington Post, "Report: Montgomery County’s attempt to narrow student performance gap is ‘largely ineffective’," 30 Dec. 2019 Talented students often opt to attend PEARLS Hawthorne School, just west in the neighborhood of Ludlow, for prekindergarten through eighth grade. New York Times, "Park Hill, Yonkers, N.Y.: A ‘Secret Neighborhood’ Overlooking the Bronx," 12 Feb. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of prekindergarten

1902, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prekindergarten

Time Traveler for prekindergarten

Time Traveler

The first known use of prekindergarten was in 1902

See more words from the same year

Statistics for prekindergarten

Last Updated

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prekindergarten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for prekindergarten


How to pronounce prekindergarten (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of prekindergarten

: a class or program that is for children who are usually three or four years old

More from Merriam-Webster on prekindergarten

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prekindergarten

Comments on prekindergarten

What made you want to look up prekindergarten? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!