pre·pare | \pri-ˈper \
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

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

Commerce Department officials prepare small business owners for the fair, matching them with companies in Europe. Stephen Singer,, "Connecticut Manufacturers Join State At UK Aerospace Trade Show," 14 July 2018 Fans back home are preparing a hero’s welcome in the capital, Zagreb. The Christian Science Monitor, "Why this World Cup final is like no other," 13 July 2018 As the giant orange inflatable — the focus of love, hate and a lot of global media attention — prepares to make its maiden voyage above the skies of London during Trump's U.K. visit, organizers say a world tour is already in the works. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "London Protest Organizers Plan to Take the 'Trump Baby' Blimp on the Road," 13 July 2018 The decision to tap Knight for the job comes as the White House is preparing for a fight with Democrats over the president's nominee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, and as Trump looks ahead to November’s midterm election. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Mnuchin is in denial about the pain Trump's tariffs are inducing," 13 July 2018 Microsoft is preparing to add Dolby Vision support to its Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Xbox One is getting Dolby Vision support," 12 July 2018 Cynthia prepared her home quickly, setting up 50 chairs in her living room and offering the bride a private room. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Mississippi Couple Hosts Wedding In Their Home After Strangers’ Beach Ceremony Was Rained Out," 11 July 2018 Baker is preparing an air war, while his opponents are barely raising enough to run a campaign for Boston City Council. Adrian Walker,, "The Democrats running for governor must be wondering when the cavalry arrives," 11 July 2018 According to the site, the ORR is preparing for a potential scenario in which the administration’s border policies might require the detention of thousands more children. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "Trump Could Reportedly Detain More Immigrant Children at the Expense of HIV/AIDS Care," 11 July 2018

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

22 Oct 2018

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 \
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 \
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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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).


a state of commotion or excitement

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