\ 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

Hartford Public Schools hope to curb chronic absenteeism by offering cash to students who attend a new high school summer prep program. Slade Rand,, "Hartford Public Schools will pay incoming ninth-graders to attend new summer school program," 19 June 2019 If those plans fail to materialize, Little is a former blue-chip prep prospect with clear upside and local ties. Ben Golliver, The Denver Post, "2019 NBA mock draft: How will Pelicans build around Zion Williamson?," 18 June 2019 Rookies from the prep ranks are locals: center Jalen Graham (Phoenix Mountain Pointe), point guard Jaelen House (Phoenix Shadow Mountain) and combo guard Caleb Christopher (Phoenix Hillcrest). Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "ASU men's basketball coach Bobby Hurley finalizes Sun Devils roster, looks to next season," 17 June 2019 Here, Schreck takes Vogue along for her epic night from pre-show prep to after parties. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Heidi Schreck Wore Prada to Make Broadway History," 17 June 2019 Cooper was a college standout at Auburn, and Dahl was a prep standout at Oak Mountain. Mark Inabinett |,, "Atlanta Braves’ Josh Donaldson makes move in MLB All-Star voting," 17 June 2019 Notable net honors Mount Notre Dame rising senior (2019) Kelli Niehauswas just in the U.S. Tennis Association Midwest Section Closed Junior Championships with more than 1,000 prep players, many already committed to playing college. Scott Springer,, "Springer: Let the Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky high school football hype begin," 6 July 2018 When/where: Wednesday, March 28; Atlanta Houston’s fab four grace the high school hardwood one last time at Phillips Arena in the annual showcase of the country’s top prep players. Jason Mcdaniel, Houston Chronicle, "Houston HS basketball primer: Best of 2017-18," 14 Mar. 2018 One stands, head down, in front of a refrigerated sandwich prep table, assembling a plate of food using ingredients stored neatly in clear plastic containers. Lauren Saria, azcentral, "This cannabis kitchen serves up THC-infused pizza and burgers. Here's a look inside," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Was invited to the Jordan Brand Classic prep All-American game, but skipped the event and other postseason All-Star games to focus on draft preparation. Joe Freeman,, "Portland Trail Blazers’ 2nd predraft workout includes shooting, youth, local connection," 10 June 2019 Jessica preps the dog and wraps it up like a tamale, neatly twisting the ends of a square of wax paper., "Beach bound? Don’t miss this Baldwin Co. hot dog stand," 7 June 2019 Ester Petukhova preps a canvas with primer in a hallway of David Douglas High School in east Portland. Betsy Hammond,, "Portland teen with feet in two cultures paints her way to the top," 22 Mar. 2018 That cooperation included getting a permit from the Department of Transportation to put the plaque on county land as well as helping bring in the Department of Public Works to prep the area and install the plaque, saving labor costs. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Police, community commemorate Officer Charles Irvine Jr. with honorary plaque near the site of his death," 7 June 2019 How, then, to prep the face for sunnier days ahead? Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Here’s How to Transition Your Skin-Care Routine From Winter to Spring," 12 Mar. 2019 Then the specialist will prep the area, cleaning the brows and applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly around them to prevent any accidental skin staining. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "What is Eyebrow Tinting, Anyway?," 1 Feb. 2019 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

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

23 Jun 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).


to take the place or position of

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