prep·​a·​ra·​tion | \ ˌpre-pə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce preparation (audio) \

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 Robert Behnken flew to the Kennedy Space Center from Houston on Wednesday to begin final preparations for launch. William Harwood, CBS News, "NASA readiness review clears SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for historic launch," 22 May 2020 Inside, preparations for Shabbat were already under way. Janine Di Giovanni, Travel + Leisure, "A Former War Reporter Discovers a New Side to Jerusalem 17 Years Later," 21 May 2020 Those preparations are no small effort or expense for businesses bleeding money for two months since the governor closed dining rooms and bars. oregonlive, "Anticipation, trepidation and ‘no thanks’ as Portland breweries debate reopening," 19 May 2020 With gun coatings, like so much in life, preparation is everything. Bryce M. Towsley, Outdoor Life, "3 Ways to Refinish Your Gun With a Custom Paint Job," 13 May 2020 Here are three talking points from Dallas’ weekend in Overwatch League play: The right way Nobody needs to be told that preparation is important at the professional level of anything. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "3 talking points from the Dallas Fuel’s weekend loss to the Fusion," 11 May 2020 On Thursday, preparations were once again underway to reopen Nomads Canteen, with limited hours through Sunday. Los Angeles Times, "An Orange County cafe opened in defiance of Newsom. Now it’s the center of stay-at-home resistance," 8 May 2020 The election preparations are in complete disarray, both in terms of the logistical planning and the legal grounds for the vote. Hanna Kozlowska, Quartz, "Poland’s election is days away—and it’s already in complete disarray," 30 Apr. 2020 There’s no need to wake the screen, type in your PIN, or make any other preparations. David Nield, Popular Science, "Seven Samsung Galaxy tricks you can’t do on any other phone," 30 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for preparation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for preparation

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Preparation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce preparation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of preparation

: the activity or process of making something ready or of becoming ready for something
: 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 How to pronounce preparation (audio) \

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 How to pronounce preparation (audio) \

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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