pre·​pared·​ness | \pri-ˈper-əd-nəs also -ˈperd-nəs \

Definition of preparedness 

: the quality or state of being prepared especially : a state of adequate preparation in case of war

Examples of preparedness in a Sentence

The military is in a state of preparedness.

Recent Examples on the Web

His next stops are at Columbia and Harvard universities, teaching in crisis-leadership and disaster-preparedness programs. New York Times, "The Last 9/11 Fire Chief Bows Out," 10 July 2018 Workshops suited for ages 8-12 are offered on fishing, shooting sports, conservation, camping, water sports and emergency preparedness. Jennifer Jhon, South Florida Parenting, "Family fun: Summer workshops, military day, boat show best bets for weekend," 20 June 2018 More than two decades later, after Hitler invaded Poland, the United States began an aggressive war preparedness program, and the Army Nurse Corps expanded its recruiting process. Alexis Clark, Smithsonian, "The Army’s First Black Nurses Were Relegated to Caring for Nazi Prisoners of War," 15 May 2018 The focus is on the importance of flood insurance, flood mitigation and disaster preparedness. Jaimy Jones, Houston Chronicle, "City gears up for hurricane season with preparedness meetings for residents," 2 May 2018 Several national studies have shown that training similar to Penn’s help increase students’ preparedness to help a friend. Aneri Pattani,, "College students train to help peers at risk for suicide, depression and more," 10 July 2018 Jonathan White, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said Thursday morning. NBC News, "DNA tests for separated families slammed by immigration advocates," 5 July 2018 As an organization that provides home protection and warranty services to customers across the country in times of need, Cross Country Home Services (CCHS) has made hurricane preparedness a way of life. miamiherald, "With storms Irma and Maria on their minds, CEOs preparing for 2018 hurricane season," 24 June 2018 On Wednesday, Trump made her first public appearance in front of press cameras in 26 days, attending a hurricane preparedness briefing at FEMA. Kate Bennett, CNN, "Melania Trump to attend Ford's Theatre gala," 10 June 2018

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

1590, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for preparedness

prepared + -ness

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preparedness

Share preparedness

Statistics for preparedness

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preparedness

The first known use of preparedness was in 1590

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for preparedness



English Language Learners Definition of preparedness

: the fact of being ready for something : the state of being prepared

More from Merriam-Webster on preparedness

Britannica English: Translation of preparedness for Arabic Speakers

Comments on preparedness

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


something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

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!