[ prep-uh-rey-shuhn ]
See synonyms for: preparationpreparations on

  1. a proceeding, measure, or provision by which one prepares for something: preparations for a journey.

  2. any proceeding, experience, or the like considered as a mode of preparing for the future.

  1. an act of preparing.

  2. the state of being prepared.

  3. something prepared, manufactured, or compounded: a special preparation for sunbathers.

  4. a specimen, as an animal body, prepared for scientific examination, dissection, etc.

  5. Music.

    • the preparing of a dissonance, by introducing the dissonant tone as a consonant tone in the preceding chord.

    • the tone so introduced.

  6. New Testament. the day before the Sabbath or a feast day.

  7. British. work done by students in preparation for class; homework.

  8. the Preparation, the introductory prayers of the Mass or other divine service.

Origin of preparation

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English preparacion, from Latin praeparātiōn-, stem of praeparātiō, from praeparāt(us) “made ready beforehand” (past participle of praeparāre “to make ready beforehand”; see prepare) + -iō -ion

Other words from preparation

  • non·prep·a·ra·tion, noun
  • pre·prep·a·ra·tion, noun
  • self-prep·a·ra·tion, noun
  • su·per·prep·a·ra·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for preparation


/ (ˌprɛpəˈreɪʃən) /

  1. the act or process of preparing

  2. the state of being prepared; readiness

  1. (often plural) a measure done in order to prepare for something; provision: to make preparations for something

  2. something that is prepared, esp a medicinal formulation

  3. (esp in a boarding school)

    • homework

    • the period reserved for this: Usually shortened to: prep

  4. music

    • the anticipation of a dissonance so that the note producing it in one chord is first heard in the preceding chord as a consonance

    • a note so employed

  5. (often capital) the preliminary prayers at Mass or divine service

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012