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 But there is an optimal way to prepare them that can yield maximum flavor. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, 5 Oct. 2021 Winter Skincare – Save up to 34% on a selection of face and body skincare items to prepare you for the cool months ahead. Karina Hoshikawa,, 4 Oct. 2021 The first-generation Arizona native, whose parents both immigrated from Mexico, said representing his West Valley district has helped prepare him for duties required of the treasurer. Isabella Martillaro, The Arizona Republic, 1 Oct. 2021 Start Before The Start Date Take advantage of that period of anticipation to welcome new employees into the fold and prepare them to succeed from the beginning. Elizabeth Baskin, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 There are also no seat-back screens, so prepare yourself for the flight with downloaded entertainment or a book., 30 Sep. 2021 He was installed as the starter, Charlie Brewer left the program on Tuesday, and only then did Rising have to prepare himself and his offense to play a Pac-12 game. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 Sep. 2021 Keep scrolling to shop the must-have bedding essentials from Zappos to prepare you for the cold weather months. Lily Gray,, 25 Sep. 2021 The party is recruiting college and high school students for a field organizing program to prepare them for the task in the 2022 midterms. Los Angeles Times, 24 Sep. 2021

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

Dictionary Entries Near prepare

preparatory to



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for prepare

Last Updated

8 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prepare.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on prepare

Nglish: Translation of prepare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prepare for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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