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


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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 In addition, the state is preparing to provide 2 billion euros worth of capital to larger companies. Peter Flanagan,, "Ireland Open to Adding Firepower to Economic Revival Plan," 30 May 2020 All of the Never Trumpers preferred Joe Biden to Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for president—and as The Daily Beast reports, the Biden campaign is preparing to use them as surrogates. David Klion, The New Republic, "David Frum’s Hold Over the Center," 29 May 2020 The City of Irving is preparing to alter — but not cancel — its plans for this year’s July 4th celebrations in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Hunter Johnson, Dallas News, "Irving preparing to scrap July 4th parade, keep fireworks show due to coronavirus," 29 May 2020 Before the flood, Evans was preparing to wind down Fieros Forever. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "19 Cars in Pontiac Fiero Collection Wiped Out by Massive Flood," 29 May 2020 To some extent, McMillan was prepared for an unprecedented pandemic. Elizabeth Depompei, Indianapolis Star, "Mom and pop shops reopen to a changed world. Here's how they'll adapt.," 28 May 2020 More oil firms are also preparing for a low-carbon future. The Economist, "Don’t worry, it’s all under control How big oil is trying to win back investors," 28 May 2020 The city of Oakland is preparing for an organized protest Friday night over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody Monday after an officer knelt on his neck pinning him to the ground. Matt Kawahara,, "Oakland braces for protest Friday over police-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis," 28 May 2020 Someone else has arrived with fever and difficulty breathing, and may also need to be intubated; one of my colleagues is already preparing the equipment. Clayton Dalton, The New Yorker, "The Risks of Normalizing the Coronavirus," 27 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for prepare

Time Traveler

The first known use of prepare was in the 15th century

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Statistics for prepare

Last Updated

3 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prepare.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for prepare


How to pronounce prepare (audio)

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
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prepare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prepare

Spanish Central: Translation of prepare

Nglish: Translation of prepare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prepare for Arabic Speakers

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