[pri-par-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, -pair-, prep-er-uh-]


serving or designed to prepare: preparatory arrangements.
preliminary; introductory: preparatory remarks.
of or relating to training that prepares for more advanced education.

Nearby words

  1. prepaid,
  2. preparation,
  3. preparative,
  4. preparatively,
  5. preparator,
  6. preparatory school,
  7. prepare,
  8. prepared,
  9. prepared piano,
  10. preparedness


    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. 2019

Examples from the Web for preparatory

British Dictionary definitions for preparatory



serving to prepare
introductory or preliminary
occupied in preparation
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