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 In previous generations, South Asian women would first get threaded in preparation for their wedding day. CNN, "How South Asian-owned threading salons in the US became a space for community," 8 May 2021 As a result, the growers planted less in preparation for another similar year. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, "A flower shortage is driving up costs for a Mother’s Day of post-COVID-19 reunions," 8 May 2021 Work will also be done on interchanges for the coming I-490, at I-90 and I-390, in preparation for a western access to O’Hare International Airport. Jonathon Berlin,, "Will there be major summer road construction near you? Search our map and list," 8 May 2021 The memo was circulating at City Hall in preparation for the upcoming meeting, and City Manager Michael Cernech told commissioners that dozens of staffers had access to it. Lisa J. Huriash,, "City may spend up to $50,000 to figure out who released public records," 7 May 2021 Meanwhile, expect employers in many sectors to build and maintain stockpiles of masks in preparation for future emergencies, and to implement some new workplace safety requirements that mandate masks, including N95 respirators. Sayanti Basu, Forbes, "Facing The Future: Masks Are Here To Stay — Why That’s A Good Thing," 5 May 2021 Langley began building larger prototypes in preparation for test flights. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Odd Early Flying Machine Made History, But Didn’t Have the Right Stuff," 5 May 2021 In preparation for birth, some expectant human parents will build IKEA cribs or down prenatal vitamins. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "A Bird’s Stinky Egg Is Actually a Humble Brag," 4 May 2021 In preparation for this past weekend’s doubleheader, the series and TMS officials wracked their brains to come up with solutions. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "Roger Penske, Graham Rahal defend IndyCar's future at Texas: 'It's important for us to run here'," 4 May 2021

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

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Preparation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for preparation



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

Comments on preparation

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