Share this entry

prepare Syllabification: pre·pare
Pronunciation: /prəˈper/

Definition of prepare in English:


[with object]
1Make (something) ready for use or consideration: prepare a brief summary of the article
More example sentences
  • The research team is currently preparing manuscripts for consideration.
  • Officials are currently preparing advice for consideration by the Government in the very near future.
  • As a result of those select committee considerations, reports are prepared that are tabled in the House.
make/get ready, put together, draw up, produce, arrange, assemble, construct, compose, formulate
1.1 (as adjective prepared) Created in advance; preplanned: the spokesman was reading a prepared statement
More example sentences
  • I had prepared a few words for my 45-second statement, and one of the guys typed it into their system - I don't know what he made of it.
  • On this special occasion, the trimaran's skipper had prepared a few words in German for the local audience.
  • "Adolescents are not passive," the study author and sociology professor said in a prepared statement.
1.2Make (food or a meal) ready for cooking or eating: she was busy preparing lunch
More example sentences
  • Without a refrigerator or stove, and perhaps only a hot plate to prepare meals, food choices are expensive and generally not very nutritious.
  • The Meath man even showed his cooking skills when he prepared a meal for the judges in the early hours of Monday morning.
  • Reading food labels and preparing your own meals with herbs and spices instead of salt can make a big difference.
cook, make, get, put together, concoct
informal fix, rustle up
1.3Make (someone) ready or able to do or deal with something: schools should prepare children for life by this time I was prepared for anything [no object]: she took time off to prepare for her exams
More example sentences
  • However none of those were able to prepare me for dealing with change properly.
  • I was not prepared for it and I couldn't really deal with it.
  • What we weren't prepared for was to get people out of the city who couldn't get out of the city on their own.
get ready, make preparations, arrange things, make provision, get everything set
study, review
brace, make ready, tense, steel, steady
ready, (all) set, equipped, primed;
waiting, on hand, poised, in position
1.4 (be prepared to do something) Be willing to do something: I wasn’t prepared to go along with that
More example sentences
  • Many of those questioned asked to remain anonymous but others were prepared to give their names.
  • That they were prepared to put themselves through such discomfort is an indication of their strength of feeling.
  • They now needed evidence that local authorities were prepared to adopt the same approach.
willing, ready, disposed, predisposed, (favorably) inclined, of a mind, minded
1.5Make (a chemical product) by a reaction or series of reactions.
Example sentences
  • Formic acid is prepared commercially by heating carbon monoxide and sodium hydroxide to form sodium formate.
  • He continued to work productively, analysing the chemistry of chlorine bleaches and preparing hypochlorous acid and chlorine monoxide for the first time.
  • His ink was prepared from the soot of lamp black mixed with water.
2 Music (In conventional harmony) lead up to (a discord) by means of preparation.


Late Middle English: from French préparer or Latin praeparare, from prae 'before' + parare 'make ready'.

  • apparatus from early 17th century:

    This is a Latin word, from apparare ‘make ready for’, from parare ‘make ready’. Other words going back to parare include disparate (Late Middle English), ‘prepared apart’; pare (Middle English); prepare (Late Middle English) ‘prepare in advance’; and separate (Late Middle English) from se- ‘apart’ and parare.



Example sentences
  • This is true even if your friend is a professional actress who relishes the opportunity to play the role of a helpful tax preparer.
  • Different financial statement preparers may develop different methods of determining fair value, resulting in similar financial instruments being valued differently.
  • Most of the workers, such as nursing assistants or food preparers, ‘have no educational credentials beyond a high school diploma,’ the authors found.

Definition of prepare in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈ(h)wipərˌsnapər
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...