pre·​pa·​ra·​to·​ry | \ pri-ˈper-ə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce preparatory (audio) also ˈpre-p(ə-)rə-, pri-ˈpa-rə- How to pronounce preparatory (audio) \

Definition of preparatory

: preparing or serving to prepare for something : introductory

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Other Words from preparatory

preparatorily \ pri-​ˌper-​ə-​ˈtȯr-​ə-​lē How to pronounce preparatory (audio) also  ˌpre-​p(ə-​)rə-​ , pri-​ˌpa-​rə-​ \ adverb

Examples of preparatory in a Sentence

There is a lot of preparatory work involved in teaching. a preparatory investigation to see if there is enough evidence to warrant bringing charges
Recent Examples on the Web But Tanya Freeman-Wisdom, head of the O’Bryant School, views test scores as a critical measure to ensure that applicants are ready for a rigorous college-preparatory program., 18 June 2021 The new more than 2,000-room resort will be one of the largest in Jamaica, according to Spanish developer Princess Hotels and Resorts, which started preparatory work on the project two years ago. Kate Chappell, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 June 2021 Private, all-male, college-preparatory high school. The Enquirer, 10 June 2021 Resurgent is looking to optimize these conditions by also developing methods for preparatory work before the intake of psychedelics in a clinical context. Natan Ponieman, Forbes, 8 June 2021 At the time, the university had just 11 permanent buildings and 27 U.S. Army barracks — which initially served as housing for USC’s naval preparatory flight cadet school during WWII — that were converted into classrooms and offices. Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times, 25 May 2021 Lead white should have been used in the preparatory ground layers and in the white paint, but only minimal quantities were present. Quartz, 22 May 2021 The company secured the contract for the city’s e-scooter trials after a four-month process but Duncan Robertson, UK general manager, said the preparatory work for London began long before that. Jonathan Keane, Forbes, 17 May 2021 Other issues that need to be tackled during a flurry of online preparatory meetings over the coming months include finalizing some of the rules by which countries pursue their goals under the 2015 Paris climate accord. Frank Jordans, Star Tribune, 7 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preparatory.' 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 preparatory

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for preparatory

Middle English, borrowed from Latin praeparātōrius, from praeparāre "to prepare" + -tōrius, deverbal adjective suffix, originally in derivatives from agent nouns ending in -tōr-, -tor

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Time Traveler for preparatory

Time Traveler

The first known use of preparatory was in the 15th century

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Statistics for preparatory

Last Updated

20 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Preparatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for preparatory



English Language Learners Definition of preparatory

: used or done to prepare for something


pre·​par·​a·​to·​ry | \ pri-ˈper-ə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce preparatory (audio) \

Kids Definition of preparatory

: preparing or serving to prepare for something He attended a preparatory school before college.


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