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

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 Laurie was undergoing tests and other preparatory work while waiting for the kidney to arrive. Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, 27 June 2022 If school is the preparatory environment entrusted, there needs to be a focus on preparing youth for life. Rod Berger, Forbes, 30 June 2022 Parents in a low-income Spanish-speaking section of Los Angeles wanted a college-preparatory high school, and Welch delivered. Globe Staff,, 27 June 2022 That length of preparatory runway is proving essential these days. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 10 June 2022 All the preparatory steps are about keeping any soil below the gravel, to avoid creating invitations for weed seeds to take hold. New York Times, 2 Mar. 2022 In her preparatory drawings for the minimalist installations, straight yellow lines rendered usually in wax crayon are aligned atop mottled, ink-wash backdrops. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 3 June 2022 Unlike, their group opponents, the Portuguese team, who last played in April have no preparatory matches scheduled between now and July. Asif Burhan, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Since its inception, GV Black has implemented ways to incorporate more Black vendors, employee formerly incarcerated people of color and develop career pipelines at HBCUs, trade schools and other BIPOC career-preparatory organizations. Taylor Mims, Billboard, 15 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near preparatory



preparatory school

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Last Updated

14 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Preparatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for preparatory


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on preparatory

Nglish: Translation of preparatory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of preparatory for Arabic Speakers


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