prep·​py | \ ˈpre-pē How to pronounce preppy (audio) \
variants: or preppie
plural preppies

Definition of preppy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a student at or a graduate of a preparatory school
2 : a person deemed to dress or behave like a preppy


variants: or preppie

Definition of preppy (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : relating to, characteristic of, or being a preppy
2 : relating to or being a style of dress characterized especially by classic clothing and neat appearance

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Other Words from preppy


preppily \ ˈpre-​pə-​lē How to pronounce preppily (audio) \ adverb
preppiness \ ˈpre-​pē-​nəs How to pronounce preppiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of preppy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The series has a wry, fatalistic sense of humor that sometimes recalls The Wire, as when Jackie reacts silently to her new lawyer, a sandy-haired preppy wearing pastel-pink pants with a lobster motif. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "An Old-School Crime Drama That’s Thoroughly Modern," 18 May 2020 Other apparel retailers have filed for bankruptcy since the outbreak in the U.S., including preppy apparel retailer J. Crew and high-end jeanmaker True Religion. Jordyn Holman,, "Neiman Marcus’ Luxury Dreams Were Shaken by Debt and Disease," 13 May 2020 Between the practical price point and preppy white detail bordering the collar, we're officially sold on this adorable wrap-style coat. Kara Thompson, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle's Navy Blue J.Crew Coat Was Just Restocked," 29 Aug. 2018 Like numerous other retailers, the peddler of preppy classics has seen its business suffer during the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak. Marc Bain, Quartz, "Don’t blame J.Crew’s bankruptcy on Covid-19," 8 May 2020 Paint them with classic stripes, preppy polka dots, or bright spring flowers. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, "No Eggs? Try 3-Ingredient Salt Dough Easter Egg Ornaments This Year," 7 Apr. 2020 Because the combination of preppy clothing and African influences was polarizing. David Peisner, Billboard, "Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig Talks Staying 'On Your Own Trip' in a Changing Industry," 19 Sep. 2019 Tory Burch, the fashion icon who launched a preppy-chic lifestyle brand in 2004 that now tops $1.5 billion in sales, is on a mission: to advance women empowerment and entrepreneurship by shattering stereotypes and creating new norms. NBC News, "Tory Burch: 'I got my fair share of patronizing pats on the back when starting out'," 5 Mar. 2020 In his exchange with Salinas, Cheronis, whose boyishly preppy looks and cunning manner brought to mind a debate-team captain in an eighties teen movie, set out to dismantle Young’s version of events. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "The Weinstein Trial and the Myth of the Perfect Victim," 17 Feb. 2020

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


1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1900, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for preppy


prep entry 1

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Time Traveler for preppy

Time Traveler

The first known use of preppy was in 1880

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Statistics for preppy

Cite this Entry

“Preppy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for preppy


How to pronounce preppy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of preppy

US, informal + often disapproving : someone who dresses or acts like a student at a prep school (such as by wearing neat, somewhat formal clothing or by using particular words and phrases)

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with preppy

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