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 Pérez, now learning English to prepare for the opportunity, wants to explore astrophysics. Benjamin Vanhoose,, "8-Year-Old Mexican Girl, Who Was Bullied and Labeled 'Weird,' Has Higher IQ Than Einstein: Report," 15 Nov. 2019 All that would do is give young players a few more weeks of practice to prepare for next season, when the Spartans lose almost all of their defensive starters and some key pieces from an offense that has been downright offensive otherwise. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Why Mark Dantonio will always be the man who slayed Michigan: 'It will never be over'," 15 Nov. 2019 His two sons, Matthew III and Rich, and two of his grandsons, 9-year-old Max and 11-year-old Mason, returned with him in October to prepare the foundation for the steel structure. Anne Ryman, azcentral, "'This is how we wanted to remember them': Granite Mountain Hotshots honored with 9-foot steel structure to be unveiled in Yarnell," 15 Nov. 2019 Golsteyn’s trial by court-martial initially had been scheduled for December but was postponed until Feb. 19 to give attorneys more time to prepare. Darlene Superville, The Denver Post, "President Trump intervenes in military justice cases, grants pardons," 15 Nov. 2019 Minnesota, like Penn State, had a bye week to prepare for last weekend’s titanic tilt that came with a massive buildup for the U’s biggest football game in recent memory. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Jace Frederick: Great win last week, Gophers. Now, can you do it again?," 15 Nov. 2019 Bleacher Report: Jaguars 23-20 The Jaguars are getting healthier on both sides of the ball and have had two weeks to prepare after winning two of three games prior to their Week 10 bye. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "NFL Week 11 predictions: Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars," 14 Nov. 2019 To prepare for the role, Bonham Carter met with the people who knew Margaret best. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Royal Rebel: Helena Bonham Carter on The Crown and Playing Princess Margaret," 12 Nov. 2019 Before setting off to work every day, Kale, who lives in a nearby labour camp in Bavdhan, wakes up at 4am to prepare food for her family of six. Sanaya Chandar, Quartz India, "You’ve probably seen Geeta Kale’s visiting card. Now, here’s the domestic help’s real story," 10 Nov. 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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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

19 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Prepare.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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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