Definition of preparatory in English:



  • 1Serving as or carrying out preparation for a task or undertaking:

    ‘more preparatory work is needed’
    • ‘Johnston is already on site carrying out preparatory works and construction will begin immediately.’
    • ‘All those involved have undertaken intensive preparatory training.’
    • ‘At the ceremony speakers referred to the importance and significance of inaugurating the preparatory committee.’
    • ‘I know that they have been carrying out the preparatory work to effect the repairs needed.’
    • ‘With regard to interview transcripts, the Judge said that ‘that could certainly await the preparatory hearing’.’
    • ‘The contractor can, on the basis of the letter of intent, commence the preliminary preparatory work.’
    • ‘He was speaking during the preliminary preparatory meeting for the official launch of the project on May 13.’
    • ‘She did preparatory research for the committee's work and took part in the process of discussing and drafting the proposed law that this paper analyses.’
    • ‘The administration is not serious in carrying out the preparatory work needed for the enforcement of the bylaw.’
    • ‘It was due for completion by May 2005 but so far only preparatory work has been carried out and no hearings have taken place.’
    • ‘The preparatory committee has been overwhelmed by the interest shown by exhibitors.’
    • ‘The decision was not an easily taken one as the committee had put in quite a bit of preparatory work so far.’
    • ‘Volunteers are required to carry out the preparatory work.’
    • ‘At a preparatory hearing he raised possible defences of duress, necessity and public interest.’
    • ‘Agriculture and economic policy have their own special preparatory committees.’
    • ‘The delays have been caused by the complex preparatory work being undertaken at the site.’
    • ‘The spokeswoman said that contractors were now on site carrying out early preparatory work, and plans were in hand to close the gap within the next few weeks.’
    preliminary, initial, prior, introductory, prefatory, opening, basic, elementary, fundamental, rudimentary, preparative, precursory, initiatory
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British Relating to education in a prep school:
      ‘preparatory schooling’
      • ‘Children's education goes through primary, preparatory, and secondary stages.’
      • ‘The college preparatory program readies students for university study.’
      • ‘Brian was therefore sent to a preparatory school on the south coast as a boarder.’
      • ‘Only 5 percent of students take a college preparatory course in secondary school.’
      • ‘A like-for-like, three-year comparison between preparatory and state schools is not possible.’
      • ‘He is in a college preparatory program in Drummondville, studying science.’
      • ‘Students can choose to spend the second three years either in a preparatory program or in vocational training.’
      • ‘After the age of sixteen, students choose between vocational and college preparatory training.’
      • ‘The mixed independent preparatory day school is building four new classrooms and a specialist support classroom.’
      • ‘Children begin school in kindergarten and attend elementary, preparatory, and secondary school.’
      • ‘Following this, they may opt for either one year of college preparatory study or vocational training.’
      • ‘Some preparatory or junior schools also offer scholarships, but awards for children under the age of seven are rare.’
      • ‘A new head teacher has taken over at an independent preparatory school in Ilkley.’


Late Middle English: from late Latin praeparatorius, from praeparat- made ready beforehand, from the verb praeparare (see prepare).