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

Carlos passed the university's entrance exam and has already done preparatory work at the university's school of chemistry in its genetics sciences center. Joebill Munoz, Fox News, "Don't call 12-year-old Mexican university student 'genius'," 3 Aug. 2018 When Bellarmine-Jefferson High School closes its doors next Saturday the school will be not be revived under its current college-preparatory system. Andrew J. Campa,, "Bellarmine-Jefferson gives way to STEM school," 22 June 2018 The administration is in early preparatory phases of taking stock of China’s approach. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "U.S. Debates Lifting China Tariffs to Hasten Trade Deal, Calm Markets," 17 Jan. 2019 Finally, most meetings don’t happen without a lot of preparatory work done at lower levels. Alex Ward, Vox, "How Trump undermines the best part of his foreign policy," 31 July 2018 The national security adviser, John Bolton, has publicly encouraged Trump to keep pressing Russia on election meddling, noting that in a preparatory meeting with him, Putin denied Russian state involvement, but not any Russian involvement at all., "Crossed signals on Russia show Trump untethered from advisers," 14 July 2018 Such preparatory work shouldn't unduly alarm the public, Johnson stressed; the odds that a big asteroid will strike Earth are very low on a day-to-day basis. Mike Wall,, "About 17,000 Big Near-Earth Asteroids Remain Undetected: How NASA Could Spot Them," 10 Apr. 2018 Among the standouts are Robert Lawson’s 1936 preparatory drawings for Munro Leaf’s treasured children’s book The Story of Ferdinand. Edith Newhall,, "The Library Company and Free Library unpack their treasures for two must-see exhibits," 28 June 2018 And what’s even more astonishing is learning that Kingelez made no preparatory drawings or plans. Peter Plagens, WSJ, "‘Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams’ Review: Utopia in Miniature," 23 June 2018

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

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

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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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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 strong desire or propensity

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