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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from prepare

preparer noun

Synonyms for prepare


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Capital requests for the jail include replacing two ovens used to prepare inmate food for $20,000 and the replacement of four Dodge Chargers for prisoner transport for $100,000, according to county documents. Mike Jones, Arkansas Online, "Budget discussion continues for Benton County," 13 Oct. 2020 The effort had started innocently, weeks before, as a request for forty million dollars, to help the state prepare for the new virus. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "Andrew Cuomo, the King of New York," 12 Oct. 2020 Typically, scientists take several years to prepare a vaccine before testing it on people. Carl Zimmer, New York Times, "First, a Vaccine Approval. Then ‘Chaos and Confusion.’," 12 Oct. 2020 That is so important when guys study and prepare like our guys do. Scott Patsko, cleveland, "Kevin Stefanski discusses Baker Mayfield, Myles Garrett in video conference: Transcript," 12 Oct. 2020 As the nation's biggest banks prepare to report their latest earnings this week, these titans of Wall Street face a conundrum. Charles Riley, CNN, "Online shopping has been turbocharged by the pandemic. There's no going back," 11 Oct. 2020 As the Dodgers prepare to face the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series, a conversation with Alex Anthopoulos was in order. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, "Andrew Friedman’s handprints are evident on all four teams in MLB playoffs," 10 Oct. 2020 Getting key players healthy will be key as the Saints prepare for the next stretch, which includes two division games (Panthers and Buccaneers) as well as a trip to Chicago to play a much improved Bears team. Rod Walker,, "Saints vs. Chargers on Monday night: Here are four things we're keeping an eye on," 10 Oct. 2020 The first episode shows the lead up to the Mercury launch in 1961 only to quickly cut to two years earlier as the astronauts prepare. Martha Sorren,, "Separating Truth From Fiction In Disney+’s The Right Stuff," 10 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prepare

Time Traveler for prepare

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for prepare

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prepare.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for prepare


How to pronounce prepare (audio)

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
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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on prepare

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!