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 No matter how preppy or how minimal, the button-down is a timeless wardrobe staple favored by style icons like Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and Jane Birkin. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "These Are the Only Street-Style-Approved Shirts You’ll Want to Wear This Fall," 16 Sep. 2019 Initially known for their preppy eclecticism, Vampire Weekend expands into miscellany as never before. Armond White, National Review, "Vampire Weekend Makes the Best Pop-Political Album of the Year," 10 Dec. 2019 Goth, retro, minimalist, preppy — at any given time, the Korean pop singer floats between them all of them (and more). Devon Abelman, Allure, "K-Pop Artist Holland Is Surprised American Men Don’t Wear Makeup," 25 Sep. 2019 That feels like an artifact, when there was this thing about preppy clothes. David Peisner, Billboard, "Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig Talks Staying 'On Your Own Trip' in a Changing Industry," 19 Sep. 2019 Back in the day, Elle Macpherson loved the jean, wearing it casually with teeny T-shirts and dressing it up with preppy blazers. Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Has Mastered the Art of the “Non-Fashion” Fashion Jean," 21 Nov. 2019 Toast your trail ride with drinks at the Sportsman's Lodge, a preppy new gathering spot debuting next year. Allison Weiss Entrekin, Condé Nast Traveler, "Daufuskie Is a Laid-Back Island With No Stoplights," 14 Nov. 2019 Here, Kerry styles tailored schoolboy shorts with a plaid coat and combat boots—which adds an edge to the otherwise preppy look. 2. Diana Nguyen, Harper's BAZAAR, "4 Editor-Approved Ways to Style Tights This Fall," 5 Nov. 2019 The first season looks at Payton's cutthroat tactics on his quest to become senior class president at his preppy Santa Barbara high school and gain admission to Harvard., "How Bette Midler and Judith Light made ‘The Politician’s’ most surprising episode," 5 Oct. 2019

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

Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Preppy.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 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)

More from Merriam-Webster on preppy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with preppy

Comments on preppy

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


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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