pre·​pare | \ pri-ˈper How to pronounce prepare (audio) \
prepared; preparing

Definition of prepare

transitive verb

1a : to make ready beforehand for some purpose, use, or activity prepare food for dinner
b : to put in a proper state of mind is prepared to listen
2 : to work out the details of : plan in advance preparing a campaign strategy
3a : to put together : compound prepare a prescription
b : to put into written form prepare a report

intransitive verb

: to get ready preparing for a career

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Other Words from prepare

preparer noun

Synonyms for prepare


fit, fix, groom, lay, prep, ready

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Examples of prepare in a Sentence

The teacher prepared the students for the test. Your room is being prepared now and should be ready soon. The nurses prepared the patient for surgery. Farmers are busy preparing the soil for planting. They'll be arriving soon. We don't have much more time to prepare. We don't have much more time to prepare ourselves for their arrival. She tried to prepare herself for bad news. The sailors are preparing themselves for a long voyage. The pharmacist prepared the prescription.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Jones went back to Napa for a second season, going through that team’s spring training and preparing for the opener. Michael Osipoff, Post-Tribune, "'I just have to keep building': Raymond Jones recovers from 'freak' injury, returns to form with RailCats," 15 June 2019 Hutchins is one of a new wave of Michigan students preparing for a career in cybersecurity – known also as information security and technology. Cynthia Blahnik, Detroit Free Press, "Wanted: More Michiganders to explore new frontier of cybersecurity careers," 14 June 2019 The players are using that time to rest, recover and prepare for Chile. Alicia Delgallo, Pro Soccer USA, "Carli Lloyd doesn’t like down time, eager for next World Cup match," 14 June 2019 Uganda has done an amazing job preparing for this spread, Farrar says, and has probably caught the case early enough to nip the outbreak in the bud. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "WHO unexpectedly declines, again, to call Ebola outbreak a global emergency," 14 June 2019 And, finally, Woodland feels prepared for the intensity of contending on the weekend at a major. Ron Kroichick,, "Gary Woodland hits the long ball, and makes putts, to take U.S. Open lead," 14 June 2019 With the issuance of notices of allegations fast approaching, the prudent approach for Arizona is to buckle up, bear down and prepare for anything. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "As the NCAA readies its case, Arizona should brace for the worst (just ask USC)," 13 June 2019 Parents and educators want to make sure students are prepared for higher education. CBS News, "How parents can help college students through increased stress," 13 June 2019 Former aides to Trump have been instructed not to do so, and House Democrats are preparing for potential court battles over subpoenas. Devlin Barrett, Washington Post, "House panel summons former FBI spy-hunters as Democrats try to keep focus on Mueller report," 12 June 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for prepare

Middle English preparen, borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French preparer, borrowed from Latin praeparāre "to furnish beforehand, put in a state of readiness," from prae- pre- + parāre "to supply, provide, make ready" — more at pare

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Statistics for prepare

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prepare

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

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More Definitions for prepare



English Language Learners Definition of prepare

: to make (someone or something) ready for some activity, purpose, use, etc.
: to make yourself ready for something that you will be doing, something that you expect to happen, etc.
: to make or create (something) so that it is ready for use


pre·​pare | \ pri-ˈper How to pronounce prepare (audio) \
prepared; preparing

Kids Definition of prepare

1 : to make or get ready beforehand I have to prepare for a test. Farmers prepare the soil for planting.
2 : to put together the elements of prepare dinner


transitive verb
pre·​pare | \ pri-ˈpa(ə)r, -ˈpe(ə)r How to pronounce prepare (audio) \
prepared; preparing

Medical Definition of prepare

1 : to make ready beforehand prepare a patient for surgery
2 : to put together : compound prepared a vaccine from live virus prepared the doctor's prescription

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More from Merriam-Webster on prepare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prepare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prepare

Spanish Central: Translation of prepare

Nglish: Translation of prepare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prepare for Arabic Speakers

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