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

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

There are many little ways in which our electoral system isn’t even designed (nor prepared) for working-class people to lead. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a point about housing for Congress," 21 Nov. 2018 In the aftermath, experts underscored that, during the worst months, few were prepared for such catastrophe — neither the countries that suffered most, nor the international community at large. Mallory Locklear, Discover Magazine, "With Big Data and Predictive Analytics, Scientists Are Getting Smarter About Outbreaks," 8 Nov. 2018 The high costs of sending out free campaign donations Barnett is now in the midst of preparing for the second cycle of democracy vouchers, when the city has elections in 2019. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "Seattle’s radical plan to fight big money in politics," 5 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine kefir and lemon juice; fold in mint and cucumber if using. Joy Bauer, Ms, Woman's Day, "Mediterranean Zucchini Boats with Kefir-Mint Topping," 25 Oct. 2018 Nvidia may be preparing for the launch of new GeForce RTX 2070, RTX 2080, and RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards, but the existing GTX 10-series GPUs are still learning new tricks—like how to run AMD’s stutter-killing FreeSync display technology. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "This clever trick gets AMD FreeSync running on an Nvidia GeForce graphics card," 27 Aug. 2018 This time, our intrepid New York Girl Reporter Amber, having already snatched the heart of the almost attractive Prince Richard, has to prepare to become the Queen of Aldovia, Richard's semi-British, semi-generic-Eastern European home country. Vogue, "A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding," 15 Nov. 2018 The social network, which has been scrambling for months to prepare for the midterms in order to avoid another election incident like what happened in 2016, made it through Election Day without a monumental screwup. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook appears to have survived this election cycle — but that’s what we thought in 2016, too," 7 Nov. 2018 West Virginia and Alabama just became the first states since Kavanaugh’s confirmation to prepare specifically for that possibility. Anna North, Vox, "With Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, West Virginia and Alabama are ready to ban abortion," 7 Nov. 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

3 Dec 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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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

Comments on prepare

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a nest or breeding place

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