\ ˈprep How to pronounce prep (audio) \

Definition of prep

 (Entry 1 of 3)

3 : a preliminary trial for a racehorse


prepped; prepping

Definition of prep (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to attend preparatory school
2 [ short for prepare ] : to get ready

transitive verb

: prepare especially : to prepare for an operation or examination nurses prepped the patient

Definition of PrEP (Entry 3 of 3)

pre-exposure prophylaxis The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that PrEP, when used consistently, can reduce the risk of H.I.V. infection by up to 92 percent.— Ginia Bellafante

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Synonyms for prep

Synonyms: Verb

fit, fix, groom, lay, prepare, ready

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Examples of prep in a Sentence


Painting a room involves a lot of prep.


She spent all night prepping for the test. The runners are prepping themselves for the race. It took me about 20 minutes to prep the vegetables.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Benjamin headed the college-prep K-12 school in Sparks’ hometown of 30,000 people about 120 miles (193 kilometers) east of Raleigh between July and November 2013. Emery P. Dalesio, The Seattle Times, "Lawsuit continues against novelist Sparks, school he started," 19 Nov. 2018 Divide the massive group into dinner-prep teams of three or four. Cheryl Stritzel Mccarthy,, "Don't be that guest: Lake house etiquette tips from the pros," 19 June 2018 Which Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky current, ex-preps stars were selected? Scott Springer,, "Full Steam ahead for some Cincinnati area college baseball players," 14 June 2018 More than 200 colleges and universities will participate, as well as test prep and financial aid companies. Laura Groch,, "North County School News, April 19," 19 Apr. 2018 Neither student is majoring in music in college, but put effort in rehearsal - as well as their AP and college-prep. Quoron Walker, Courant Community, "East Catholic High Wins Big At Berklee Jazz Fest," 20 Mar. 2018 Included in the one-year program culminating in a master’s degree are three medical-school level courses, test prep for the MCAT, and instruction on time and stress management. Susan Snyder,, "To address shortage of black doctors, Drexel medical students create mentoring network," 16 Mar. 2018 The shipping method really makes Terra's Kitchen stand out from other meal prep delivery services. SELF, "The Best Meal-Kit Delivery Services to Try in 2019," 1 Jan. 2019 While the second round of America's Got Talent turned out to be an incredible night for ballroom dancers Quin Bommelje and Misha Vlasov, the prep leading up to it wasn't as stellar. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'America's Got Talent' Dancers Quin and Misha Had a Crazy Accident Before Their Second Audition," 1 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Put simply: Contrary to popular belief, makeup primers don't have to be labeled as such to do what they're supposed to: prep your skin for makeup. Allure, "13 Makeup Primers and Alternatives for People Who Hate Primer," 20 Mar. 2019 Palau and his team used Redken Guts to prep then dryed the hair, fastened six hair pieces on each girl, then smoothed it with Redken Shine Flash and Redken Forceful 23 hairspray. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Hair at Versace's Show Was So Big and Full of Secrets," 3 Dec. 2018 To prep for shadow, Mann first applied UD's Primer Potion in Sin (a pale nude shimmer) to Williams' lids. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Maisie Williams Wore a Full Face of Urban Decay’s Game of Thrones Makeup Collection to the Season 8 Premiere," 4 Apr. 2019 Instead, Brady is going to sleep in his magic anti-aging pajamas to prep for a showdown with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Tom Brady & Drew Brees: Beware the Zombie Geezers!," 14 Jan. 2019 To prep for trial, attorneys use services like and to run their cases by mock jurors, who get paid. Tracy Saelinger, Redbook, "The Ultimate Guide to Remote Jobs," 17 Nov. 2015 Your capacity to gaze upon these spaces without judgement will prep you for the 24th’s Full Moon, which magnifies your capacity to open wide to surprises and choose-your-own adventures. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Monthly Lovescopes October 2018," 3 Oct. 2018 Some are able to move on and prep it for a sale, to declutter and depersonalize. Danielle Braff,, "Painful parting: Selling childhood home can be emotional, financial challenge," 14 June 2017 To prep for the festivities, organizers inflate the enormous balloons outside the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan starting at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve. Olivia Putnal, Woman's Day, "10 Larger-Than-Life Thanksgiving Staples," 16 Nov. 2010

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prep.' 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 prep


1862, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1909, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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Statistics for prep

Last Updated

26 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prep

The first known use of prep was in 1862

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More Definitions for prep



English Language Learners Definition of prep

: to make yourself ready for something
: to make (someone or something) ready for something

Kids Definition of prep



\ ˈprep How to pronounce prep (audio) \

Medical Definition of prep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the act or an instance of preparing a patient for a surgical operation the nurse had three preps to do
prepped; prepping

Medical Definition of prep (Entry 2 of 2)

: to prepare for a surgical operation or examination prep the patient for an appendectomy

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More from Merriam-Webster on prep

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prep

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prep

Nglish: Translation of prep for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prep for Arabic Speakers

Comments on prep

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


a strong desire or propensity

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