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

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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

An affluent black family is preparing a birthday celebration for their elderly matriarch. Washington Post, "This play aims to make you uncomfortable. And that’s a good thing.," 18 Sep. 2019 Walsh’s proposal drew dozens of online testimonials and a large number of residents prepared to testify on its behalf, and is supported by the Howard County Bird Club and the Association of Floodplain Managers. Erin B. Logan,, "Proposals to ease development’s impact on Ellicott City flooding draw opposition from industry," 17 Sep. 2019 After seeing Nix run, Auburn’s next opponent is already preparing to try to contain him. Giana Han, al, "As Bo Nix finds his legs, Auburn’s offense opens up," 17 Sep. 2019 Chefs will prepare seasonal, farm-to-table selections daily. Peter Marteka,, "New assisted living community coming to Evergreen Walk in South Windsor," 16 Sep. 2019 Real Madrid and Barcelona are preparing approaches for both Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and defender Virgil van Dijk., "Real Madrid & Barcelona Prepare Shock Approach for Liverpool Duo Virgil van Dijk & Jurgen Klopp," 16 Sep. 2019 Undefeated Japanese Champion Masahiro (Yusuke Ogasawara) is preparing for the biggest fight of his life: A showdown with Clint Sullivan, a down-and-out American pugilist enlisted to defend his country's honor and redeem himself in the process. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "'In Full Bloom' Wins Oldenburg Independence Award," 16 Sep. 2019 Endeavor Energy Resources, a company owned by Midland billionaire Autry Stephens, is preparing to drill seven horizontal wells. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, "Drilling Down: Jerry Jones-owned company looking for natural gas in East Texas," 16 Sep. 2019 The company is preparing an initial public offering intended to raise billions for an economic reform program championed by the crown prince to move the country away from its dependence on oil revenue. Anchorage Daily News, "Iran denies carrying out crippling attacks on Saudi oil facilities," 15 Sep. 2019

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

8 Oct 2019

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 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

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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

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


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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