[ pri-par-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, -pair-, prep-er-uh- ]
See synonyms for preparatory on
  1. serving or designed to prepare: preparatory arrangements.

  2. preliminary; introductory: preparatory remarks.

  1. of or relating to training that prepares for more advanced education.

Idioms about preparatory

  1. preparatory to, in advance of; before: The astronauts met with the press preparatory to lifting off.

Origin of preparatory

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English word from Medieval Latin word praeparātōrius.See prepare, -tory1

Other words from preparatory

  • pre·par·a·to·ri·ly, adverb
  • non·pre·par·a·to·ry, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use preparatory in a sentence

  • For the things which have arrived at existence, and which subsist, have been preparatorily contained in a number.

    Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 3 | Plotinos (Plotinus)
  • The warrior maid wished once more to examine the important position, preparatorily to the Monday attack.

  • The King's Advocate pulled out a puce-coloured bandanna, and waved it abroad preparatorily to blowing his nose.

    Romance | Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • To that end I read preparatorily, yesterday, what account I could find of it in all the botanical books in the house.

    Proserpina, Volume 1 | John Ruskin
  • You will have it so soon as Elwig will have stripped the Gaul preparatorily to throwing him into her caldron.

    The Casque's Lark | Eugne Sue

British Dictionary definitions for preparatory


/ (prɪˈpærətərɪ, -trɪ) /

  1. serving to prepare

  2. introductory or preliminary

  1. occupied in preparation

  2. preparatory to as a preparation to; before: a drink preparatory to eating

Derived forms of preparatory

  • preparatorily, adverb

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