Definition of preparatory in English:



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

    ‘more preparatory work is needed’
    • ‘He was speaking during the preliminary preparatory meeting for the official launch of the project on May 13.’
    • ‘At a preparatory hearing he raised possible defences of duress, necessity and public interest.’
    • ‘With regard to interview transcripts, the Judge said that ‘that could certainly await the preparatory hearing’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 delays have been caused by the complex preparatory work being undertaken at the site.’
    • ‘The contractor can, on the basis of the letter of intent, commence the preliminary preparatory work.’
    • ‘At the ceremony speakers referred to the importance and significance of inaugurating the preparatory committee.’
    • ‘Johnston is already on site carrying out preparatory works and construction will begin immediately.’
    • ‘Agriculture and economic policy have their own special preparatory committees.’
    • ‘The administration is not serious in carrying out the preparatory work needed for the enforcement of the bylaw.’
    • ‘All those involved have undertaken intensive preparatory training.’
    • ‘I know that they have been carrying out the preparatory work to effect the repairs needed.’
    preliminary, initial, prior, introductory, prefatory, opening, basic, elementary, fundamental, rudimentary, preparative, precursory, initiatory
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    1. 1.1British Relating to education in a prep school.
      ‘preparatory schooling’
      • ‘Some preparatory or junior schools also offer scholarships, but awards for children under the age of seven are rare.’
      • ‘Brian was therefore sent to a preparatory school on the south coast as a boarder.’
      • ‘Students can choose to spend the second three years either in a preparatory program or in vocational training.’
      • ‘Children's education goes through primary, preparatory, and secondary stages.’
      • ‘After the age of sixteen, students choose between vocational and college preparatory training.’
      • ‘He is in a college preparatory program in Drummondville, studying science.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The college preparatory program readies students for university study.’
      • ‘A new head teacher has taken over at an independent preparatory school in Ilkley.’
      • ‘Following this, they may opt for either one year of college preparatory study or vocational training.’


  • preparatory to

    • As a preparation for.

      ‘she applied her make-up preparatory to leaving’
      • ‘On my return to campus I am visited by Fred, an architect who comes once a week to my apartment for private conversation lessons preparatory to taking a language test at the Hong Kong Canadian consulate.’
      • ‘My grandmother once dressed him in a white silk suit preparatory to having his portrait made, so Papa promptly went out back, turned the wash pot over and rolled in the contents, soot and all.’
      • ‘He explained that civil orders - similar to anti-social behaviour orders - could be imposed against individuals who had not committed an offence but were suspected of ‘acts preparatory to terrorism’.’
      • ‘The Le Monde report I linked to at the time claims that the drone was used to recce French positions in Ivory Coast preparatory to air attack by the Sukhoi 25s.’
      • ‘The employee has an additional right under ERA 1996, s. 47D not to be subjected to any detriment, other than dismissal, arising from exercising these rights, or certain acts preparatory to that, as specified.’
      • ‘That song always reminds me of sitting on my bedroom floor making collages for my portfolio, preparatory to going for my interview for the art A-level course at Brunel College of Arts and Technology (now City of Bristol College).’
      • ‘The committee made recommendations regarding various aspects of the programme, preparatory to its expansion.’
      • ‘At the moment, though, they are rehearsing with their band in a studio in Edinburgh, preparatory to hitting the road early next month.’
      • ‘I used to watch in shuddering horror when Papa would allow the boiler at the laundry to cool down preparatory to climbing inside the monster to make some repair.’
      • ‘This afternoon I used various cleaning substances and a battery powered scrubbing device to eliminate anything growing in the grout along the edge of my tub preparatory to re-sealing the seam with silicon.’
      in preparation for, in advance of, before, prior to, previous to, in anticipation of, in expectation of, leading up to
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Late Middle English: from late Latin praeparatorius, from praeparat- ‘made ready beforehand’, from the verb praeparare (see prepare).