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prep·​py ˈpre-pē How to pronounce preppy (audio)
variants or preppie
plural preppies
: a student at or a graduate of a preparatory school
: a person deemed to dress or behave like a preppy


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variants or preppie
: relating to, characteristic of, or being a preppy
: relating to or being a style of dress characterized especially by classic clothing and neat appearance
preppily adverb
preppiness noun

Examples of preppy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
She's also been sporting some relaxed preppy ’fits that nonetheless suit the high-tone vibe associated with the sport. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 28 Mar. 2024 When Love Story, the tale of a doomed romance between Ivy League students Oliver, a rich preppy, and Jenny, a spirited social zero, went from a slender paperback to an unexpected box-office smash despite a downbeat ending where Jenny dies of, well, something. Amy Nicholson, Town & Country, 1 Dec. 2020 Thom Browne, fashion’s most dedicated preppy, took subversion to the extreme in his most recent collection, with boys in repp ties, grosgrain jockstraps and ladies-who-lunch bouclé skirt suits—a look that one imagines wouldn’t fly at any country club, except maybe one on Fire Island. Kareem Rashed, Robb Report, 28 Aug. 2022 Think about it: the record companies forced them to be clean cut and preppy and all those things. Gary Gerard Hamilton, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Feb. 2023 The 2022 Grace Wales Bonner Sambas have the brand's signature vintage-preppy spin with sleek tones, contrast stitching, and satin lining. Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 29 Dec. 2022 Channeling an on-trend preppy heritage look but with the comforting familiarity of traditional decorating styles, dark leather decor truly has it all. Maggie Gillette, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Jan. 2023 The frock featured white dress shirt cuffs and a sharp, contrasting collar with a black tie that mimicked the preppy Nevermore Academy uniform, and the whole look was cinched together with a metal corset belt. Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 19 Dec. 2022 Trust fund baby of possible criminal family; dresses preppy . . . Daniel A. Gross, The New Yorker, 16 Dec. 2022
In the snap, Porizkova carried a bouquet of lilacs and a few shopping bags while wearing a breezy, cherry red midi dress, with a waist-cinching belt, a preppy collared neckline, and puffed short sleeves. Averi Baudler, Peoplemag, 12 May 2024 Jim Poorten/Getty Images Cardi leaned into the preppy, school girl vibe, wearing her jet-black hair with blunt bangs. Sam Reed, Glamour, 3 May 2024 Zendaya inspired us to reach for our tennis rackets with her preppy collared sweater and slit maxi skirt, while Dunst opted for a quarter-sleeve top and pleated skirt. Nicol Natale, Peoplemag, 23 Apr. 2024 Pair them with tank tops and preppy button-downs or classic trench coats and oversized blazers. Jake Henry Smith, Glamour, 22 Apr. 2024 Meanwhile, Sperry’s longtime competitor Sebago is riding the new craze for preppy American style—in Europe. Justin Fenner, Robb Report, 16 Apr. 2024 Jalil Johnson, fashion office coordinator, Saks Fifth Avenue/Consider Yourself Cultured writer: Eclectic and preppy. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 5 Apr. 2024 From her jacket to her purse, Swift’s latest date night look also continues her preppy style streak. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 13 Apr. 2024 Pair them with preppy staples and a shiny pair of silver ballet flats. Christina Holevas, Vogue, 12 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'preppy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



prep entry 1

First Known Use


1880, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1900, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of preppy was in 1880

Dictionary Entries Near preppy

Cite this Entry

“Preppy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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