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 preparatorily (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 The concert, which is open to the public free of charge, will take place in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart at the all-girls college-preparatory high school, 760 E. Westleigh Road, Lake Forest., "Calendar: Sign language club meeting Saturday in Antioch," 10 Dec. 2019 Upward Bound is a college preparatory program for high school students from low-income households who have the potential to be first-generation college students. Rich Heileman,, "High school students don scrubs for hands-on medical experience: Around The Town," 19 July 2019 Satellite cameras in recent weeks have spotted preparatory work at several locations where North Korea assembled or tested new missiles in the past. Joby Warrick, Anchorage Daily News, "Ongoing upgrades to North Korean weapons give Kim Jong Un choices for ‘Christmas gift’," 25 Dec. 2019 Satellite cameras in recent weeks have spotted preparatory work at several locations where North Korea assembled or tested missiles in the past. Arkansas Online, "On N. Korea's talk of 'gift,' Trump says U.S. to 'deal with it'," 25 Dec. 2019 Some students were placed in more-advanced classes, others at a college-preparatory level, while another group had a curriculum just to meet state graduation requirements. Rafi Eis, National Review, "The Progressive Transformation of New York City Schools," 7 Nov. 2019 Founded in 1910, the Army and Navy Academy is a college-preparatory boarding school for boys in grades 7-12. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "North County School News, Oct. 3," 3 Oct. 2019 Peretz, a former chief military rabbi and the founder of a military-preparatory academy in the Gaza Strip, belongs to a far-right alliance of parties and is a newcomer to politics. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, "How the Religious Right Transformed Israeli Education," 23 Aug. 2019 Neither of these investigations were in the U.S. national interest, and neither was part of the official preparatory material for the call. USA TODAY, "Read Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's opening statement during public impeachment testimony," 13 Nov. 2019

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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Preparatory.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for preparatory


How to pronounce preparatory (audio) How to pronounce preparatory (audio)

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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Comments on preparatory

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


a feeling of well-being or elation

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