[ pree-nuhp ]
/ priˈnʌp /
Save This Word!

noun Informal.
a prenuptial agreement.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is a prenup?

Prenup is short for prenuptial agreement, a legal contract entered into by a couple before marriage that specifies things like the division of their finances and assets, especially in case the marriage ends, such as through divorce.

The word prenuptial means before marriage.

Prenup is informal but very commonly used, especially in casual contexts.

Every prenup is different based on what the couple wants it to include. Most prenups cover things like which member of the couple is entitled to certain portions of property, inheritance, and savings, or which member is responsible for certain things, such as debt.

The popular opinion about prenups has traditionally been quite negative—many people view them as pessimistic and associate their use with rich celebrities who marry people who aren’t as rich. Plus, no one who’s about to get married likes to admit that there’s a possibility that the marriage might not work out. However, many people consider it good sense to enter into a prenup, and many legal advisors recommend prenups, especially since deciding how to split up assets during a divorce can be extremely strained.

Example: Everyone thought it was strange that we had a prenup, but life is unpredictable.

Where does prenup come from?

While prenup is used as a noun, the word prenuptial is an adjective. It’s composed of the prefix pre-, meaning “before,” and the word nuptial, meaning “of or relating to marriage.”

The word prenup has been used as a shortened form of prenuptial agreement since at least the 1980s. Though the term prenup is relatively new, the concept of marriage contracts has been around for a very long time.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for prenup?

What are some words that share a root or word element with prenup

What are some words that often get used in discussing prenup?

How is prenup used in real life?

The word prenup is informal, but it’s the most common way of referring to such an agreement outside of formal legal contexts. The popular opinion about prenups has traditionally been negative, but many people view signing a prenup as good sense.


Try using prenup!

Which of the following things might be included in a prenup?

A. division of assets
B. assignment of rights to physical property
C. assignment of responsibility for debt
D. all of the above

How to use prenup in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for prenup

/ (ˈpriːˌnʌp) /

informal a prenuptial agreement
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