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 regular session, the board held the first of two mapping hearings in preparation for switching to by-district trustee elections, reviewed its goals for the upcoming year, and approved its final financial report from 2018-19. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "How they voted, Sept. 15," 15 Sep. 2019 And just as there was no plan to take a break, there was very little preparation for their return to the studio. Kristin M. Hall,, "Rested and revived, The Black Keys return after 5-year break," 14 Sep. 2019 While residents of Rachel have been busy securing their own properties, Arnu says that on Sunday, less than two weeks from the big day, there were no stages built for Alienstock and there appeared to be little preparation underway. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "'We Are Breathing a Sigh of Relief.' Here's Why 'Alienstock' As We Know It Will No Longer Be Held Near Area 51," 13 Sep. 2019 Luck is mostly preparation—those few small steps toward first base. Marc Randolph, Quartz, "Netflix co-founder: Luck isn’t about chance—it’s about preparation," 11 Sep. 2019 The event in Traverse City concludes with Monday’s practices, after which the Wings will return to Detroit in preparation for the first of nine exhibition games. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Top prospects ready to vie for roster spots at Red Wings training camp," 11 Sep. 2019 The education can be preparation for college or a first step to a career. Bob Sandrick,, "Five candidates run for three seats on Strongsville school board Nov. 5," 10 Sep. 2019 Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's newly renovated home made headlines earlier this year with its extensive renovations in preparation for the arrival of baby Archie. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Meghan and Harry's Interior Designer Is Being Sued for "Neglecting" Client to Focus on Royals," 9 Sep. 2019 On Saturday, crews were working to reinforce containment lines in preparation for thunderstorms in the area Sunday and Monday, officials said. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "3 lightning-caused fires see growth overnight in Tonto National Forest," 7 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for preparation

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for preparation

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

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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

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Comments on preparation

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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