\ ˈprep How to pronounce prep (audio) \

Definition of prep

 (Entry 1 of 3)

3 : a preliminary trial for a racehorse


prepped; prepping

Definition of prep (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to attend preparatory school
2 [ short for prepare ] : to get ready

transitive verb

: prepare especially : to prepare for an operation or examination nurses prepped the patient

Definition of PrEP (Entry 3 of 3)

pre-exposure prophylaxis The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that PrEP, when used consistently, can reduce the risk of H.I.V. infection by up to 92 percent.— Ginia Bellafante

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for prep

Synonyms: Verb

fit, fix, groom, lay, prepare, ready

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of prep in a Sentence


Painting a room involves a lot of prep.


She spent all night prepping for the test. The runners are prepping themselves for the race. It took me about 20 minutes to prep the vegetables.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Having only a week to prep for the triple option is tricky, and a Colorado defense that has struggled stopping the run this season could very well be gashed early and often before second-half adjustments from Tucker. The Si Staff,, "Top Week 3 College Football Bets for Each Power 5 Conference," 13 Sep. 2019 On Sir John’s prep table, haloed in vanity lights, UOMA Beauty’s Black Magic Palette in Poise stood out. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Sir John Talks UOMA Beauty and Inclusivity At NYFW," 9 Sep. 2019 She was scheduled for gallbladder surgery and had been put on a low-fat diet to prep. Ragen Chastain, Glamour, "The Anguish of Eating While Fat," 28 Aug. 2019 Hoping to prep for and take full advantage of Black Friday deals on Amazon? Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019: Everything You Need to Know," 31 July 2019 Lotion and crazy glue stored on shelf above prep table. Ebony Day, azcentral, "Moldy pork belly among violations on restaurant inspection list," 10 July 2019 Japan: The country’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) spacecraft will use facial recognition technology on craters to prep for extremely precise lunar landings in the early 2020s. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, "The Global Race to Return to the Moon," 20 May 2019 Everybody stands on footstools around the maple-wood prep table to gain the leverage needed to make dough in big stainless-steel bowls. Lisa Ludwinski, WSJ, "Pies That Bind: Thanksgiving Recipes From the Heartland," 15 Nov. 2018 At a shiny prep table, a sweet-faced Nepali woman named Aruna and an Iranian woman named Nasrin expertly fold rice-paper wrappers around creamy spiced spinach and paneer. Grant Cornett, Vogue, "The Rise of Refugee Cuisine—a Food-World Trend to Feel Good About," 17 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Long after his only child entered adulthood, Fudge continued to prep his pole for him, tying sinkers and bobbers just so to lure catfish. Dan Horn,, "His Dayton home was hit by a tornado. Then his father died in the Oregon District shooting," 10 Aug. 2019 Connected to some of the world’s largest oil fields by pipelines, including Saudi Arabia’s giant Ghawar field, the site consists of a complex mix of equipment used to essentially clean and prep the kingdom’s oil for export. David Sheppard, Los Angeles Times, "Attack on Saudi facility exposes world economy’s ‘Achilles heel’," 16 Sep. 2019 Masters of ceremonies are Enquirer staff writer Anne Saker and preps sports editor Melanie Laughman. Anne Saker,, "Cincinnati Storytellers Project explores 'Champions and Underdogs' Sept. 24 at the Transept," 5 Sep. 2019 Buy now: $8 on amazon Step 2: Tatcha the Essence An essence preps and primes the skin to allow the antioxidant-rich ingredients from subsequent products (your serums, masks, moisturizers) to flow through. Andrea Cheng, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Skin Care Routine For Your Next Flight: A Step-By-Step Guide," 30 Aug. 2019 Volleyball: Tough non-district schedule preps Kingwood for district tests Aguilar, who is in her third season at Summer Creek, has seen her team grow in non-district play. Marcus Gutierrez, Houston Chronicle, "Volleyball: Summer Creek aims for district title," 29 Aug. 2019 The canned stuff is here to make your kitchen prep a little bit easier. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "The Only Thanksgiving Shopping List You'll Ever Need," 7 Aug. 2019 This is the message consumers are getting as Amazon preps its fourth annual Amazon Prime Day. NBC News, "How to save money on Amazon Prime Day (without overspending)," 11 July 2019 She and other fleet associates were paid around $15 an hour to move cars around the city and help prep vehicles to be rented. Ellen Huet,, "Latest Dynamex twist: Cash this check for $250, and sign away your right to sue," 6 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prep.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of prep


1862, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1909, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prep

Statistics for prep

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prep

The first known use of prep was in 1862

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for prep



English Language Learners Definition of prep

: to make yourself ready for something
: to make (someone or something) ready for something

Kids Definition of prep



\ ˈprep How to pronounce prep (audio) \

Medical Definition of prep

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the act or an instance of preparing a patient for a surgical operation the nurse had three preps to do
prepped; prepping

Medical Definition of prep (Entry 2 of 2)

: to prepare for a surgical operation or examination prep the patient for an appendectomy

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on prep

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prep

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prep

Nglish: Translation of prep for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prep for Arabic Speakers

Comments on prep

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


involving a confidence or trust

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!