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 Their friend Donny helped too, and 20 bags of mulch were moved and spread in record time, holes were dug, big plants planted, pots on the deck were emptied in preparation for planting, and pruning and pulling of weeds was accomplished. Janet Carson, Arkansas Online, 9 May 2022 Ukraine's military has claimed that the streets of the city, where tens of thousands are feared to have been killed under the Russian assault, are being cleared of debris in preparation for a parade there on Victory Day. Byguy Davies, ABC News, 7 May 2022 All of that credibility-building work, though, is mere preparation. Jacob Stern, The Atlantic, 3 May 2022 Moorhead believes playing in the SEC – especially the SEC West – is the best preparation for the NFL. Terry Pluto, cleveland, 2 May 2022 Coach John Becker was asked about how blowing through the conference tournament might be less-than-ideal preparation. Mark Heim |, al, 17 Mar. 2022 Similarly, the Maronite monks asked that their bones be kept on the altar as a reminder to all that this life is only preparation for the next. Andrew Doran, National Review, 3 Mar. 2022 In preparation, Comer’s oversight staff has already begun to make document requests and archived information related to the president’s son. Nomaan Merchant, Farnoush Amiri And Eric Tucker, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Apr. 2022 Poring through all the notes in the binder Bickerstaff gave to each player in preparation. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 15 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near preparation



preparation hymn

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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Preparation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for preparation


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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