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 However, Smith continues to urge players to make financial preparations in case the sides fail to reach a new agreement, which could lead to a work stoppage following the 2020 season. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "NFL owners, players union make progress in CBA talks but remain divided on multiple issues," 18 Jan. 2020 Some were still in their pajamas, their hands inked with henna tattoos from the party preparations the night before. Brett Murphy, USA Today, "Inside the U.S. military raid against its own security guards that left dozens of Afghan children dead," 30 Dec. 2019 Then the preparation itself is a nice balance of flavors with the fattiness from tuna and fresh avocado, the acidity and heat from fresnos and ginger and saltiness from soy sauce. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, "Here they are: The 12 best dishes we ate all year," 25 Dec. 2019 Part of the preparation is examining your exit strategies. Gary Miller, The Denver Post, "Gary Miller: A new year and a new life by selling your business in 2020," 22 Dec. 2019 And people revel in Christmas at those moments when very young children get to enjoy the preparations made for them by their parents. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "The Profound Loneliness of Christmas," 20 Dec. 2019 Working in a community garden, the 70-year-old digs up dirt for composting and makes winter preparations for greens and other crops still in the ground. Corey Williams,, "Vacant houses, sparse internet and high poverty: Detroit tops list of hard-to-count cities ahead of census," 12 Dec. 2019 The preparation combines mineral-rich water from China’s Shandong province and collagen extracted from donkey hides, traditionally produced by boiling the skins in a 99-step process done at specific times of the year. Christa Lesté-lasserre, Science | AAAS, "Chinese trade in hides has led to global donkey massacre," 12 Dec. 2019 The cost-risk analysis depends on what the House does, and the senior administration officials point to the fact that the preparation will be very different once Democrats actually draft articles of impeachment. Grace Segers, Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "Pelosi calls for drafting of articles of impeachment — live updates," 5 Dec. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preparation

Time Traveler for preparation

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for preparation

Last Updated

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Preparation.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for preparation


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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to assert without proof or before proving

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

January 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • image1642096650
  • Which is a synonym of bonhomie?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!