[pri-par-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, -pair-, prep-er-uh-]
See more synonyms for preparatory on
  1. serving or designed to prepare: preparatory arrangements.
  2. preliminary; introductory: preparatory remarks.
  3. of or relating to training that prepares for more advanced education.
  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
Related formspre·par·a·to·ri·ly, adverbnon·pre·par·a·to·ry, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for preparatory

Contemporary Examples of preparatory

Historical Examples of preparatory

  • In these last respects it is a preparatory study for "Othello."

  • The Preparatory Schools of Ruffianism are similarly borne with.

  • This preparatory work occupied the whole of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

    The Field of Ice

    Jules Verne

  • Mr. Babbitt waved his fists again, preparatory to another outburst.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • As a preparatory tonic I'd recommend strawberries and cream.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for preparatory


  1. serving to prepare
  2. introductory or preliminary
  3. occupied in preparation
  4. preparatory to as a preparation to; beforea drink preparatory to eating
Derived Formspreparatorily, 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

Word Origin and History for preparatory

early 15c., from Late Latin praeparatorius, from Latin praeparatus (see preparation). Earlier in same sense was preparative (late 14c.). Applied from 1822 to junior schools in which pupils are "prepared" for a higher school.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper