prep·​a·​ra·​tion | \ˌpre-pə-ˈrā-shən \

Definition of preparation 

1 : the action or process of making something ready for use or service or of getting ready for some occasion, test, or duty

2 : a state of being prepared

3 : a preparatory act or measure

4 : something that is prepared specifically : a medicinal substance made ready for use

Examples of preparation in a Sentence

The festival involves a lot of preparation. To complete this recipe, plan on about 30 minutes of preparation and 40 minutes of baking.

Recent Examples on the Web

In the computer age of chess preparation, strategic differences are minimal. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Magnus Carlsen vs. the American in a Chess Championship for the Ages," 9 Nov. 2018 No warning, no preparation, no savings plan can handle Sephora's annual Beauty Insider Holiday Sale, which slashes prices across skin care, makeup, hair products, fragrance, and more. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "What to Shop From Sephora's Beauty Insider Holiday Sale 2018," 26 Oct. 2018 Because Japan is an archipelago—a chain of four main and about 3,000 smaller islands along the Asian Pacific coast—the Japanese eat a fish-heavy diet, with unique raw preparations: sushi and sashimi. Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "How To Buy Kitchen Knives Like a Pro," 24 Oct. 2018 That preparation has involved investing in the buildout of three warehouses in the U.S. where the company stores some of its best-selling goods. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "Trump’s latest China threat could crush the $8 billion Amazon competitor Wish. Here’s its plan to fight back.," 18 Oct. 2018 While wedding preparations are most certainly underway, one aspect of the event that's the subject of much speculation is just how much Princess Eugenie's royal wedding is going to cost. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Eugenie's Royal Wedding Is Costing More Than We Initially Thought," 22 Sep. 2018 They were completely frozen out of all plans and preparations. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Honeymoon Was So Secret, Only Two People Knew About It," 20 Aug. 2018 While yes, that is a crucial part of getting ready for the change of seasons, there are more important (and not exactly fun) preparations that come with being a homeowner. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "9 Things You Should Do to Your Home Before Fall Starts," 13 Aug. 2018 The analysis of Ötzi’s final meal lends important insight into eating and food preparation habits during the Copper Age. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Before He Died, Ötzi the Iceman Ate a Greasy, Fatty Meal," 13 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for preparation

Middle English preparacioun, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French preparacion, borrowed from Latin praeparātiōn-, praeparātiō, from praeparāre "to prepare" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action

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Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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The first known use of preparation was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of preparation

: the activity or process of making something ready or of becoming ready for something

preparations : things that are done to make something ready or to become ready for something

: a substance (such as a cream or lotion) that you use as medicine or to improve your appearance


prep·​a·​ra·​tion | \ˌpre-pə-ˈrā-shən \

Kids Definition of preparation

1 : the act or process of making or getting ready beforehand Travel requires a lot of preparation.

2 : something done to make or get ready Preparations for the move are underway.

3 : something made for a special purpose a preparation for burns


prep·​a·​ra·​tion | \ˌprep-ə-ˈrā-shən \

Medical Definition of preparation 

1 : the action or process of preparing

2 : something that is prepared specifically : a medicinal substance made ready for use a preparation for colds

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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