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pre·​par·​a·​tive pri-ˈper-ə-tiv How to pronounce preparative (audio)
: something that prepares the way for or serves as a preliminary to something else : preparation


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preparatively adverb

Examples of preparative in a Sentence

Adjective preparative warning that the injection was going to cause a modest amount of pain
Recent Examples on the Web
One such approach involves utilizing advanced chromatography techniques like flash chromatography or preparative HPLC (High-Performance Liquid Chromatography). Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 12 Aug. 2023 Using photography as a preparative tool as well as an art form later in life reveals Degas to have been a more progressive artist that was willing to experiment. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 July 2019 Gordon explains that the body has quite a bit of pre-labor preparative work to do. Tanya Ward Goodman, Orange County Register, 5 June 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'preparative.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English preparatif, borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Medieval Latin prēparātīvus, derivative of prēparātīvus, adjective, "preparatory," from Latin praeparātus, past participle of praeparāre "to prepare" + -īvus -ive


borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French preparatif, borrowed from Medieval Latin prēparātīvus — more at preparative entry 1

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1530, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of preparative was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near preparative

Cite this Entry

“Preparative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

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